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Former Chelsea captain Terry announces retirement as Villa return looms

20:50 BST 07/10/2018
John Terry Chelsea
The ex-England and Chelsea skipper looks "forward to the next chapter" after a 23-year playing career

Former England and Chelsea captain John Terry has announced his retirement from football amid speculation he will join Thierry Henry's backroom team at Aston Villa.

Following a senior career spanning 23 years and including over 800 career appearances, the 37-year-old has opted to call time on his illustrious career.

Best remembered for spending 19 years as a professional with Chelsea, he scooped 17 major honours at Stamford Bridge including five Premier League titles.

Terry won 78 caps for England and played at four major tournaments for his country, however his stripping of the armband in 2012 represented the nadir of his career.

After leaving Chelsea, he spent a single season as skipper at Aston Villa during the 2017-18 campaign, guiding the club to the brink of promotion before defeat to Fulham in the Championship play-off final.

A move to Spartak Moscow appeared to be on the cards last month before Terry turned down an offer from the Russian giants and he now looks set for a move into coaching.

Former France and Arsenal striker Henry is set to installed as the replacement for Steve Bruce, with Terry in line to be his assistant at Villa Park.

He wrote on Instagram: "After 23 incredible years as a footballer, I have decided now is the right time to retire from playing.

"I have many people to thank. My wife Toni and my two children, Georgie and Summer, for being my rocks throughout my career - I couldn't have done it without you, I love you with all my heart.

"I thank my parents, Sue and Ted, for the sacrifices they made for me as a boy, giving me the best opportunity to fulfil my dreams and become a professional footballer. My brother, Paul, for his help and advice throughout my career - and all my family and friends for their great support.

"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. 

"Right from the outset they have given me total support, on and off the pitch, and I have a tremendous bond with them. We achieved so many great memories together and I couldn't have succeeded without you. 



A post shared by John Terry (@johnterry.26) on Oct 7, 2018 at 12:20pm PDT

"To me you are the best fans in the world. I hope I have done you all proud wearing the shirt and the armband.

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

"They also helped me achieve my boyhood dream of playing for an captaining England, of which I am immensely proud.

"My club career and heart will always belong to Chelsea, but I am grateful for my loan spell at Nottingham Forest in 1999, which was invaluable for my development as a young player.

"And I want to say a thank you to Aston Villa for giving me the opportunity to play at such  big club and captain it throughout the 2017/18 season. It was a privilege to represent such  renowned football club with great fans.

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