The former England and Chelsea captain, John Terry, has called it a day as a player as he gets set to make his first moves into management by becoming Thierry Henry’s assistant at Aston Villa.
Sportsmail revealed yesterday that the Villa hierarchy are set to reveal their dream management line-up after the sacking of Steve Bruce.
In a 20-year playing career Terry lifted the Premier League on five occasions as Chelsea captain and won the Champions League in 2012.
He won 78 caps in a nine-year international career, and captained England 34 times between 2006 and 2012.
In a statement on Instagram, the 37-year-old wrote: ‘After 23 incredible years as a footballer, I have decided now is the right time to retire from playing.
‘I have many people to thank. My wife and my two children, Georgie and Summer, for being my rocks throughout my career – I couldn’t have done it without you, I love you with all my heart.
‘I thank my parents, Sue and Ted, for the sacrifices they made for me as a boy, giving me the best opportunity to fulfil my dream and become a professional footballer. My brother, Paul, for his help and advice throughout my career – and all my family and friends for their great support.
‘As a 14-year-old, I made my best and biggest decision: to sign for Chelsea Football Club. Words will never be enough to show how much everyone at the club means to me, particularly the fans.
‘Right from the outset they have given me total support, on and off the pitch, and I have a tremendous bond with them. We achieved so many great memories together and I couldn’t have succeeded without you.
‘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.
‘They also helped me achieve my boyhood dream of playing for and captaining England, of which I am immensely proud.
‘My club career and heart will always belong to Chelsea, but I am grateful for my loan spell at Nottingham Forest in 1999, which was invaluable for my development as a young player.
‘And I also want to say a huge thank you to Aston Villa for giving me the opportunity to play at such a big club and captain it throughout the 2017-18 season. It was a privilege to represent such a renowned football club with great fans.
‘I look forward to the next chapter in my life and the challenges ahead.’