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Fans pay their tributes as John Terry announces retirement from professional football

722   //    08 Oct 2018, 12:03 IST

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League
Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League

Chelsea legend John Terry has announced his retirement from professional football in a statement on Sunday.

The former Chelsea captain posted his statement on Instagram in which he revealed that he has decided to hang up his boots, thanking Chelsea and Aston Villa as well as all his fans for their support throughout his career.

The statement read, "After 23 incredible years as a footballer, I have decided now is the right time to retire from playing."

"As a 14-year-old, I made my best and biggest decision: to sign for Chelsea Football Club."

"Words will never be enough to show how much everyone at the club means to me, in particular the fans."

"I want to thank my amazing teammates, coaches, managers and backroom staff, who I was honored to work with and learn from. They all guided me on my way to playing 717 games for the club I love, and it was a privilege to serve them as captain."

"I also want to say a huge thank you to Aston Villa for giving me the opportunity to play at such a big club and captain it throughout the 2017/18 season."

"It was a privilege to represent such a renowned football club with great fans."

"I look forward to the next chapter in my life and the challenges ahead."

The 37-year-old had an impressive run at Stamford Bridge, having won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League with the side.

The former Blues captain also won three League Cups and a Europa League.

The Englishman made 717 appearances for the West London outfit and has 78 caps for England under his belt.

Terry left Chelsea in 2017 to join Aston Villa and he spent the entire 2017-18 season with the club. He played his last game for the side in May in a 1-0 Championship defeat to Fulham.

After his exit from Villa Park, he was heavily linked to a move with Spartak Moscow, even having done a medical exam. However, the defender rejected the move saying that it was not right for his family.

Chelsea fans have since flooded social media to post their tributes for their captain and leader.