It came as a shock when news broke that John Terry would be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season, after serving the club for so long.
His time in the game is ticking, but I still think he’s got what it takes to be around the best and do his job.
I can promise you that the motivation and the spirit of the Chelsea team is largely down to Terry. Some leaders can’t be made. You can give them or tell them what you want, but a real leader doesn’t need any outside help. You either are one or you’re not.
John is a natural leader because from day one he was eager to learn and make himself a better defender. Any problem the team has – even if it’s about a player being mistreated by the club – he’ll go and ask for an explanation.
A lot of captains wouldn’t do that because they’re scared of the consequences, but JT always would.
On the field, If you’ve been out of action for a while when you make a return, you can count on him to motivate you. He’ll whisper in your ear before kick of: “Do well so you can keep your spot in the team.” Little things like that make you go the extra mile as player.
In training when it was freezing cold outside, I’d be covered up from head to to with a tracksuit, gloves and a woolly hat. John would come up at the end of training asking me “I know you’re going to do some crosses do you mind me heading them away or clearing them?”
The first couple of times he asked I looked at him thinking you’re crazy, go in and put on some gear. But he carried on wearing shorts, a t-shirt and socks pulled over his knees.
Until one day, when he injured his neck after it stiffened up after a couple of headers. It must of hurt because you could see the tears in his eyes as he walked to the treatment room.
The next day he was back asking me the same question, but this time Claudio Ranieri told him: “If I see you outside without a sweater, you’ll get a fine.” That was the end of him in the cold winter wearing only a t-shirt.
The thing about him is that he didn’t come to training to just stand and look around, he was always moving. That could be his reason for wearing shorts when it was below zero but today I still think he’s crazy for doing that.
But never the less, I enjoy watching him play and seeing the boy that was so eager to play become the man that has been so hungry with Chelsea. It will be strange to see the blues without him.
After Dennis Wise I thought who is going to be the next? And there John Terry was.
Let’s hope the club finds another great leader that wins respect on the field, from the club, and from the fans like John did.