Happy birthday, JT!

We wish our former captain, John Terry, a very happy 37th birthday today. Here we take a look back at five key moments that shaped his illustrious Chelsea career…

First of many

JT’s Chelsea story began when he joined the club as a 14-year-old and he was handed his first team debut in a League Cup win over Aston Villa in 1998.

His first Premier League appearance came a few months later, away at Southampton on Boxing Day, and the following month he was handed his full debut in an FA Cup win at Oldham. It was in that competition against Gillingham the following season he scored his first Chelsea goal and another major first came in December 2001 at home to Charlton when he played his first game as captain.

Our former skipper reflects on that Blues debut…

‘I only came on for three or four minutes but plenty happened in that time. As a 14 year-old coming into the club, you dream of reaching that level and I worked very hard to get to the first-team.

‘I was training with the first team regularly and I was taken under the wing of the likes of Wisey, Marcel Desailly, Jody, Michael Duberry and they gave me plenty of advice and guidance and it served me so well.’

Captaining the side

As mentioned, it was against Charlton in 2001 when JT first wore the armband we became so accustomed to. However, the arrival of Claudio Ranieri that saw the former England international take on the role as skipper full time…

‘Wearing the armband has given me so much pride and it has given me the opportunity to lift all the trophies that we’ve won at Chelsea.

‘I remember before I was made captain, there were the likes of Graeme Le Saux, Dennis Wise and Marcel [Desailly] who were coming to the end of their time at Chelsea and they all advised Claudio to make me captain as I was the future of the club. So that was special for me too.’

Major honours

In total, JT took won an incredible 14 major trophies whilst in a Blue shirt, making over 700 appearances over a 19-year stint at Stamford Bridge.

‘Winning the Premier League in 2005 was an unbelievable achievement and it had been so long since the club had been at that level, so it was extra special winning the title that first time around.

‘I think winning the Champions League in 2012 was the ultimate though and that may surprise people because I wasn’t playing, but that was an amazing feeling and by far and away the number one.’

Final game

Sunday, May 21, 2017. The final game of Terry’s outstanding Chelsea career. After 26 minutes, the skipper was substituted and departed the Stamford Bridge pitch for the final time, to rapturous applause. The Blues won the game 5-1 against the relegated Black Cats as Terry lifted the Premier League title once again, before moving on to pastures new.

‘The club means everything and that final game was very, very emotional.

‘It was an incredible send off from the players and the supporters. They had been my life and my family for 22 years and I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. It was an incredible feeling to have stayed at this club so long.’

Captain, Leader, Legend

A banner draped across the Matthew Harding Stand at Stamford Bridge and created in his honour famously describes Terry as ‘Captain, Leader, Legend.’

Four Premier Leagues, one Champions League, five FA Cups, three League Cups, one Europa League, 713 appearances and 66 goals so far, with the possibility of yet more honours to come before, in May, the curtain finally comes down on a monumental Chelsea career and one which may never be surpassed.

Happy birthday, JT!