John Terry has released an emotional farewell letter ahead of his Chelsea departure at the end of the season.
Chelsea and Terry announced earlier this week that the 36-year-old’s time at Stamford Bridge will come to an end after 22 years when his contract expires in June.
The iconic defender is keen to continue his playing career, but has acknowledged opportunities at Chelsea will be limited – he has made four Premier League starts this term – and has therefore opted to move on.
Terry has nothing but fond memories of Chelsea, though, and has thanked the club, owner Roman Abramovich, his team-mates, his family and the fans for their support throughout the years.
“It is with overwhelming emotion that earlier this week the club and I announced this will be my last season as a Chelsea player.
“This has been the toughest decision of my life for me and my family, but I always envisaged leaving on the right terms, in the right way and at the right time – and that is now.
“I feel I still have regular football in me but understand that opportunities here at Chelsea will be limited, it is therefore time for a new challenge,” said Terry.
“My earliest ambition as a boy was to become a professional footballer and I am eternally grateful to Chelsea, my mum, dad and brother for giving me the opportunity and their total support to fulfill that dream.
“From joining as a schoolboy at 14, to signing my first professional contract at 17 and then making my first-team debut in the same year, to then being part of the transformation and evolution of this great football club, has inspired me to keep striving to be the very best I can be.”