Remembering The Iconic Career Of John Terry

Published by Chris Jenkins
31st Aug 2023

If you were to ask any Chelsea fan who their greatest-ever central defender is, most would mention John Terry as number one. There are many different John Terry stats and moments that are fascinating to hear as a fan of football.

There have been many iconic moments in the career of John Terry and throughout this post, we are going to be discussing some of the biggest moments that defined the all-time Premier League great.


John Terry Makes His Debut

In 1998, 18-year-old John Terry made his Chelsea debut as a substitute against Aston Villa in the League Cup after 3 years in the Chelsea academy. His appearance was fairly brief but marked the beginning of an iconic career in a Chelsea shirt.

Later on, Terry made his first starting appearance in an FA Cup tie against Oldham Athletic in which Terry’s side won 2-0. After a few games, interest was drawn by Nottingham Forest who took the youngster on loan to get some game time behind him.

This turned out to be the perfect move for Terry to make his name as a defensive partnership of Marcel Desailly and Frank Leboeuf keeping him from making too many appearances. Upon his return to the squad in 2000, Terry became a regular first-team starter replacing Leboeuf.


Receiving The Chelsea Captaincy

Within his first starting season at the club, in the 2000/01 season, Terry had clearly made an immediate impression on new Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri as he was given the captaincy for the first time in his career that year.

When the club captain Marcel Desailly was unavailable, the mantle would be passed down to Terry who would have the greatest honour that a young Chelsea fan or player could ever dream of. This honour would be given to Terry for the first time in a 1-0 defeat in the league to Charlton.

John Terry would go on to have a long career as Chelsea captain, remaining so until his departure for Aston Villa in 2017.


Making His England Debut

The next target for the young centre-back was to make his first appearance for England. This feat was achieved by Terry in 2003 in a pair of friendly matches against Serbia and Montenegro.

While these were not starts for his country, this opportunity would soon come in a 2-1 win against Croatia where Terry was praised for his maturity and sheer defensive ability alongside Rio Ferdinand.

With the clear leader that Terry was, it was long forecasted that he would take the reins as England captain one day, which would eventually come true in 2006 after David Beckham relinquished the title under then-manager Steve McClaren.


Scoring The Winner Against Barcelona

One of John Terry’s most iconic moments as a Chelsea player was when he scored the brilliant winner against Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League after trailing the Catalan giants 2-1 in the first leg of the tie.

In the second leg, an enthralling game would ensue with Chelsea leading 3-0 before the magic of Ronaldinho shone through as he scored two goals to put Barcelona ahead on away goals.

In the final 15 minutes of the game, John Terry rose to the occasion and scored an emphatic winner as he led Chelsea to an incredible 5-4 victory after the odds were completely stacked against them.

This amazing game in the round of 16 of the Champions League would lead to Chelsea reaching the semi-final stage overall as they unluckily crashed out against Liverpool to reach the Champions League final in one of many controversial ties between the two.


Leads Chelsea to First League Title in 50 Years

In the 2004/05 season, John Terry played an integral role under the great José Mourinho in leading Chelsea to their first league title win since 1955. After 50 long years of waiting, Chelsea Football Club made history with one of the greatest Premier League campaigns in history.

Throughout the entire 38-game season, Chelsea only lost one game and conceded a record 15 goals throughout the entire season, failing to concede at all in 2005 until the 5th of March in a 3-1 win over Norwich City.

Their only loss that season came in a 1-0 loss to Manchester City which was considered an incredibly shocking result for the time, particularly when considering the greatness that would come from this incredible Chelsea side.

This was the first year that Chelsea were without Marcel Desailly for some time and fans were justified in feeling tentative in the build-up to the season. With his eventual achievement, Terry set himself in Chelsea folklore forever as the Chelsea captain who brought success back to Stamford Bridge.


Captains The Blues To Back To Back League Titles

After the immense success of the incredible Chelsea side from a year prior, Terry’s success as captain continued to thrive in his second season under José Mourinho as they won back-to-back league titles, making history for the club.

Chelsea completing this feat of dominance made them only the second team to do so in 22 years, after Manchester United. This placed the entirety of the Chelsea 11 in English history forever with many considering them the greatest team to ever do so.

After 95 points in the previous season, a historic record until Manchester City’s centurions reached 100 points in 2018, Chelsea managed an incredible 91 points the following season showing the epic longevity of the club for many years to come.

In the 2005/06 season, Chelsea won 29 games, lost 5 and drew 4 while not ever losing a game at Stamford Bridge in either of their title-winning seasons making the stadium a fearsome place to visit on an away trip for clubs up and down the country.


Leaving Stamford Bridge

After nearly 20 years since his Chelsea debut in 1998, John Terry left the club and signed for his new club Aston Villa in 2017 as a Chelsea legend who would never be forgotten by the blue side of West London.

Terry would remain at the championship side for one year until his eventual retirement in October of 2018, marking the end of an incredible career in England winning 5 Premier League Titles, 5 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 2 Community Shields, 1 Champions League trophy and 1 Europa League trophy.