Glen Johnson, the first signing of the Roman Abramovich era, has announced his retirement from football.
Johnson joined Chelsea from West Ham United in the summer of 2003, shortly before his 19th birthday.
An attack-minded right-back, Johnson made his Chelsea debut in our first competitive match of the season, away to MSK Zilina in a Champions League qualifier, and he was named in the starting XI four days later as we kicked off our league campaign with a memorable win at Anfield.
Johnson scored his maiden Chelsea goal in the return leg against Zilina shortly afterwards, and three more followed in his debut season. He lashed home against Newcastle in a big 5-0 win at the Bridge, and followed that up with his most memorable effort for us, a spectacular last-minute winner against Blackburn at Ewood Park.
He finished the 2003/04 season with 33 appearances to his name, an impressive total for such a young man in a team now full of established stars. He also made his senior England debut that term.
Following Jose Mourinho’s arrival, Johnson was never a first-choice pick at right-back, but he still clocked up 28 appearances during the wonderful 2004/05 season. He featured in both legs of our legendary Champions League last-16 success over Barcelona, as well as the League Cup final against Liverpool in Cardiff, which ended with him picking up the first winners’ medal of his senior career. A Premier League title soon followed.
Johnson found opportunities harder to come by in his third year in west London, and he then spent the 2006/07 campaign on loan at Portsmouth. He made two more appearances for us at the outset of the next season, before signing for the Fratton Park side permanently. He later played for Liverpool and Stoke, as well as England at two major tournaments.
Johnson made 72 appearances in total for Chelsea, scoring four goals.