John Terry retires: Chelsea hero makes announcement amid Aston Villa coaching role links | Football | Sport

The Chelsea hero has decided to hang up his boots after an illustrious 23-year career.

The ex-Blues and England captain, 37, won five Premier League titles and the Champions League during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Terry, who has been linked with a coaching role at Aston Villa alongside Thierry Henry, announced the news on his Instagram page on Sunday evening.

He 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 Toni 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 foe 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, in particular 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 he 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 teammates, 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 a 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 tank 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. JT.”

Terry left Chelsea in 2017 after winning 17 major trophies during his time in west London.

He has been linked with a coaching role at his old club Aston Villa in recent weeks.

Reports this weekend claimed Terry is set to become Villa’s No 2, with Thierry Henry taking over at Villa Park.

The centre-back hasn’t played since Villa’s Championship play-off heartache at the hands of Fulham last season.

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