Why Chelsea Fans Will Always Stand Behind John Terry
John Terry is the most senior Chelsea player to have spent his entire professional career at Chelsea. Since the age of 14, he has gone from cleaning Dennis Wise's boots to captaining the club over 400 times.
Terry learnt his trade as a centre-half from Marcel Desailly and throughout his career has been praised as one of the greatest English centre-halves. When you need a player to step up, you can guarantee that Terry will be there.
During the Premier League match with Reading in 2007 which saw Petr Cech and substitute keeper Carlo Cudicini knocked unconscious in one of the most bizarre sequences of events in football, Terry volunteered to cover for the last few minutes of the game.
His bravery has led to some pretty terrifying injuries, most notably in the 2007 League Cup Final when he went into a challenge with his head and received a boot in the face from Abou Diaby for his troubles. He was knocked unconscious and needed emergency treatment to prevent him from swallowing his tongue. Having been rushed to the hospital, he later discharged himself to return to the stadium and celebrate with the team.
Similarly in the last Premier League game of the 2007-08 season, he fell awkwardly and dislocated his elbow, an incredibly painful injury. When the paramedics relocated the joint, he made them turn the ambulance around so that he could see the final minutes of the game.
Less than a week later, he captained the side in their first Champions League final against Manchester United in Moscow.
When Didier Drogba was sent off in extra time, Terry volunteered to take the fifth penalty of the shootout. On a soaking wet pitch, he slipped and his shot went wide, and United went on to win after seven penalties.
No Chelsea fans blamed him for slipping, but he still felt the need to write an open letter of apology to them. This is because he truly understands the passion of the fans.
When he is on the bench, you can see that he is kicking every ball with the team and that he loves the club as much as any one of the Stamford Bridge faithful.
It is true that his off-field antics have not covered him in glory. Despite the tabloids apologising for the story accusing Terry of sleeping with ex-teammate Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend and admitting that it was untrue, there are still many who believe that he committed this transgression and slate him for it.
Then came the Anton Ferdinand racism row, where Terry was acquitted in a court of law with the judge believing that while he had used a racist slur, there was not enough evidence to prove that he uttered it maliciously.
The FA served him with a four-match ban and a £220,000 fine whilst taking great pains to state that they did not believe that Terry held racist beliefs.
Add that to the 2001 incident which saw Terry, Frank Lampard and other Chelsea stars fined two weeks' wages for drunkenly harassing American tourists at Heathrow Airport in the aftermath of Sept. 11 and you have a profile of a man who has made some very questionable decisions in his time.
His sending off at the Nou Camp in the Champions League semifinal was a moment of utter stupidity, and if it had cost Chelsea their trip to the final in Munich then there is every chance that the fans would have struggled to forgive him. However, he apologised the next day, Frank Lampard wore the captain's armband for their ultimate triumph and Terry was again forgiven.
He is their captain, their most inspirational leader and a confirmed legend. The dedication and passion he shows every single week for Chelsea matches the fans' own love for the club. They will back him forever because he is Chelsea 'til he dies, just like they are.
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