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John Terry announces his retirement

Former England and Chelsea Skipper John Terry has formally announced his retirement from football at the age of 37.

The 37-year-old central defender announced his decision on Sunday as he prepares to pursue a career in management.

Terry, who spent the bulk of his career with Chelsea, captained second-tier Aston Villa last season.

His 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 the biggest and best decision: to sign for Chelsea. Words will never be enough to show how much everyone at the club means to me, in particular the fans.

“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 team-mates, coaches, managers and backroom staff, who I was honoured 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 look forward to the next chapter in my life and the challenges in my head.”

After he joined the Blues at 14 years old, Terry became the west London club’s most successful captain while also skippering England among 78 caps in all, featuring at four major tournaments but failing to progress beyond the quarter-finals.

The Birmingham club reportedly wants him to join their coaching staff as part of a new-look set-up, with Thierry Henry in the running to take over as manager at Villa Park after Steve Bruce was sacked earlier this week.

Terry’s last game as a professional was Villa’s 1-0 Championship play-off final defeat by Fulham in May, a loss that denied Villa a return to the Premier League.

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.

 

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