Following John Terry’s announcement that he will call time on his Chelsea career at the end of this season, Omnisport examines the highs and lows of his decorated spell at Stamford Bridge.
Terry was named UEFA defender of the year in 2005 – an accolade he would collect twice more in 2008 and 2009.
Already established as Chelsea’s leader and a member of England’s national team, Barcelona’s visit to Stamford Bridge in March 2005 was the game when Terry announced himself among Europe’s elite.
Nursing a 2-1 aggregate deficit, Chelsea surged into a 3-0 lead before a Ronaldinho brace pegged them back. Cue a trademark 76th-minute header from Terry to spark scenes of delirium.
First Premier League title
Terry’s presence as an unused substitute earned him an FA Cup winners’ medal in 2000 but, having lifted the League Cup earlier in the same season, Chelsea’s 2004-05 Premier League title triumph began the period of success he would come to embody in earnest.
In their first season under Jose Mourinho, Chelsea romped away from the chasing pack and finished the campaign 12 points clear of Arsenal in second place. Frank Lampard’s unanswered double at Bolton Wanderers on April 30 wrapped up the trophy with three matches to spare.
The years following Mourinho’s initial spell at Chelsea were comparatively tough on Terry and his team-mates but they found success once more when Carlo Ancelotti took charge for the 2009-10 season.
Manchester United were unable to make it four championships in a row as Chelsea scored a Premier League best 103 goals, while Terry led a solid rearguard.
Didier Drogba scored the only goal to sink Portsmouth in the FA Cup final at Wembley, meaning Terry hoisted the famous old trophy and Chelsea became the seventh club in history to complete English football’s iconic double.
With his England career over and the 2012-13 campaign – when he played just 14 times in the league – still fresh in the memory, Terry’s reunion with Mourinho sparked one more prolonged demonstration of his talismanic qualities.
The veteran became only the second man in Premier League history to play every match in a title triumph, following in the footsteps of ex-Manchester United defender Gary Pallister.
There was little sentiment at play, as Terry helped Chelsea to 17 clean sheets and scored five times to earn a place in the Professional Footballers’ Association Premier League team of the year.
Having conquered all fronts domestically, Chelsea headed to owner Roman Abramovich’s homeland to take on Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League final.
Cristiano Ronaldo put United in front at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium but Lampard levelled matters on the stroke of half-time.
There would be no further goals and the game went to penalties, with a Ronaldo miss granting club stalwart Terry the chance to seal a storybook triumph.
Infamously, the defender slipped and skewed his kick against the post. United would not err again and were European champions when Edwin van der Sar saved from Nicolas Anelka.
End of England career
Terry’s initial tenure as England captain came to an end in February 2010 amid allegations about his private life, only for then manager Fabio Capello to reinstate him in March 2011.
The Italian stood down as England boss 11 months later when the Football Association stripped Terry of the captaincy as he awaited trial over allegations that he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during a match the previous November.
Terry was cleared by Westminster Magistrates Court in July 2012 but the FA’s decision to pursue disciplinary action over the incident in September that year prompted the player’s international retirement.
The FA’s four-day hearing resulted in Terry being banned for four Chelsea matches and receiving a £220,000 fine.
Champions League suspension
Although Chelsea would eventually scale the summit of European football – ending up on the winning side of a shootout against Bayern Munich in 2012 – the triumph at their opponents’ Allianz Arena came without their captain on the field.
Terry received a red card during the semi-final for an off-the-ball clash with Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez. His decision to don a full playing kit and join his team-mates’ celebrations after the final prompted widespread mockery.
Terrible title defence
Following his ever-present heroics in 2014-15, Terry was at the eye of the storm as Chelsea’s title defence spectacularly fell apart.
A torrid outing in the 3-0 defeat at Manchester City led to him being substituted at half-time.
Chelsea won only one of their opening five Premier League matches – at West Brom despite Terry being sent off. They registered only three further victories by the time Mourinho paid with his job in December, with Chelsea a point above the relegation zone.