Legends of Club Football: John Terry
Scolari: “For John Terry, dying on the pitch would be glory. You would need to kill him and maybe even then, he would still play.”
The single biggest inspiration in all of King’s Road.
This is the banner everyone will be greeted with when they tell any mini-cab driver to drop them to the most famous Chelsea bar in all of London. People everywhere around the bar wear the blue with pride as they sit down for a cup of tea with fresh bacon and eggs along with the volume of the old transistor turned up. Occasionally, a topic springs up amidst all the football talk. “What about JT?”
John George Terry has played for Chelsea Football Club from the tender age of 14 and is arguably the best center-back England have ever produced. Starting from the youth setup, he moved on to the reserve team and broke into the first team in 1998. He was initially a midfielder but converted himself into a center-back as the Chelsea youth academy at that time lacked defenders.
Following Chelsea before the Russian oligarch came was not great for a teenager. As a kid though, it was very different. Seeing Zola weave his magic and a high-school teenager look-alike rising up to meet with the ball and guide it into the back of the net was why I enjoyed the games so much when I was 4.
Breaking into the first team was no mean feat, as under the guidance of Marcel Desailly and Frank Leboeuf, he announced his arrival with incredible panache.
After a loan spell at Nottingham Forest, he was voted as Chelsea’s Player of the Season, just two years after his debut. After taking over the captain’s armband from a certain Frenchman , John Terry led a new look Chelsea side, pumped with Russian rubles and under an arrogant but great Portuguese to their first title in 50 years. He then won it once again and made himself immortal in front of the Chelsea faithful. He engraved his name as the most successful captain in the club’s history and to be honest, future captains will find it tough to overcome something like that.
Injuries soon took over as his age pestered him, but when certain injuries would have kept normal players out for months, John Terry brought himself back to the locker room in weeks. A medical anomaly? No, just pure determination and willingness to bounce back from the deepest of pits.
Unfortunately, his scandals are all people will remember him for and if there is one thing I could change, then it would be him being able to make decisions at the proper time. He is a terrible decision maker, not on the field but out in the real world. His scandal of sleeping with an ex team-mate’s ex-girlfriend will forever be remembered by the Internet world, but seldom will someone actually encroach upon the fact that the newspapers apologized for publishing the scandal which was deemed to have never taken place. Moreover the incident of racial abuse has forever tarnished his image, something which he’ll never be able to repair. So what does he have? Why still play football when so much has already happened to you? Why go on when there are fans chanting atrocious cruel and indecent chants at you? The question remains unanswered for anyone who has never seen the glint in his eyes. A glint of hunger and passion to even put your body on the line, if it means you get your bounty.
It’s not just that. There is another factor. A factor that can change anyone’s mind in a split second. Love.
Love has done wonders in the past and some readers will realize. The love and support the Chelsea faithful show John Terry is probably incomparable to any other. Let it be injury, scandal, suspension, rumor or anything, they have backed him through it all.
He is now indebted to the people chanting his name in the Matthew Harding stand and he has repaid them all in style. Every time you think his time is up, you find yourself shaking your head at your naivety .
When money was being splashed across Europe, there were few captains and players willing to stick to the status of “One Club Men.” A privilege, only a select few had and cherished. Even after being offered wages that would triple his earnings by PSG and Manchester City, says a lot about his hidden character.
In the words of Trizia Fiorellino, chairwoman of the Chelsea Supporters’ Group, “John Terry is quite a rare thing in football, because he’s a one-club man.” That used to be common 20, 30 years ago, but these days it’s incredibly rare. He’s been passionate, incredibly loyal and very demonstrative — lots of beating of the chest, touching his heart and looking up at the fans. We feel he’s one of us. We’ve always cherished him as one of our own.”
Terry has played a pivotal role in every winning campaign for Chelsea. In the 2010/2011 season, Chelsea lost him for 2 weeks in November, as the famous winter slump began under Carlo Ancelotti.
No matter what is said, the fact remains that Chelsea still very much need him. Fans like me will break down the moment he leaves and for me this chant will be a person favorite. A mix of insult and total euphoria -
One England Captain !
There’s Only One England Captain !
One England Caaaaptaaaain !
There’s Only One England Captain !
Terry might not be a Chelsea fan’s fairy tale super hero, but if you need someone who you can count on in the direst of times, John Terry will always be there. Very few captains will play for their team against Barcelona with two broken ribs.
To be honest he’s not the best guy you will meet, if you see him the way the English media reflect him. Even I cannot judge him. It’s those people in the locker room, training ground and who know him personally, that will be able to give us a clearer picture of his character and to every Chelsea fan, it is one of utmost respect and love. To put in the words of my grandfather; John Terry is the closest to God the Chelsea faithful will ever get.
A note to the reader: Do remember that this article will be based only on how John Terry has always given his all on the field for both England and Chelsea and is tremendously loved for reasons rivals fans cannot explain. His personal life will and never alter his image in the eyes of the fans and supporters of Chelsea Football Club.
Read about more such Club Legends here.