John Terry has paid tribute to the late Gianluca Vialli and reflected upon the influence the great man had on his Chelsea career ahead of tomorrow’s Legends of Europe match at Stamford Bridge.

Terry, a record-breaking former Blues captain, is one of several Chelsea Legends returning to the Stamford Bridge pitch to take on their Bayern Munich counterparts at 7.15pm on Saturday 9 September.

In addition to celebrating our maiden Champions League triumph, the game will also pay tribute to the late Vialli, who left an enduring legacy at Chelsea as a player and a manager. Proceeds are in aid of the Chelsea Foundation and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

It was during the '90s, under the management of Vialli, that Terry was given his first experience of senior football – and also collected his first winner's medal.

It is a time he remembers fondly. And you can read more from Terry in his captain's notes in the Legends of Chelsea programme on Saturday.

‘I remember those Diadora boots Luca used to wear and, as an apprentice, I used to run his baths for him,’ says Terry. ‘He used to like it really hot with a little bit of bubbles, so he could get in with his boots on and they would mould around his feet.

‘He was so normal with me for someone so high profile, such a legend in the game. He was an unbelievable man and brilliant with the younger players.’

Vialli is inextricably linked to the young Terry's breakthrough.

When he made his debut in a League Cup tie against Aston Villa, the player-manager got a hat-trick. When Terry made his first start, Vialli scored both goals in a 2-0 FA Cup win over Oldham.

And when the defender went out on loan to Nottingham Forest to gain experience in 2000, it was a move set up by Vialli and his old Sampdoria team-mate David Platt, who was manager at the City Ground.

It is easy to understand why young players looked up to Vialli. By the time he arrived at Stamford Bridge, the striker was a superstar, having won a number of domestic and European trophies while representing Sampdoria, Juventus and Italy.

The silverware kept coming in west London, initially as a player before taking over as manager.

It is a memory from one of Vialli's two FA Cup triumphs – shortly after Terry had returned from Nottingham – that he uses to explain why he and several other Academy graduates held the Italian in such high regard.

‘There were obviously a lot of experienced players around the first team at that time and I’d come back from a loan, but Luca put me, Jody Morris and Jon Harley on the bench for the final,’ explains JT.

‘He could have quite easily thought: “Oh, they’re young players, I’m going to go with experience”. But he pulled us in and said: “You’re the future of our football club and it’s important that you’re involved today”. But the key is that he said “the future of our football club”, because that’s how he saw Chelsea.

‘We went on to win, and even though I didn’t get on, we felt part of that day. Just being in and around that squad was incredible, especially after the two months I’d just had at Forest. It was a really important moment in my career and Luca was a massive part of it. I’m forever in debt to him.’

That is why Terry will be back at the Bridge tomorrow, along with several of his fellow Chelsea Legends and thousands of supporters, to remember Vialli and everything he did at the club.

You can join Terry and the host of other former Blues as we remember true Chelsea legend Vialli at the Bridge on Saturday. The final few tickets for Legends of Europe are still available here from just £35 for adults and £17 for concessions. All proceeds will be split between The Chelsea Foundation and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, which supports the work of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, where Vialli was treated.

To watch a live stream of the Legends of Europe game, click here to purchase your stream pass.

See here for Terms & Conditions and Frequently asked Questions