Recently, former England captain John Terry announced his retirement from international football. Arguably one of England’s more passionate players, Terry’s announcement was met by a subdued reaction by pundits and fans alike.
You may ask why there was no swansong for the man who has captained England the 5th most times in history. The reason: the content of his character has been brought under scrutiny more times than once, leaving the Chelsea defender with few allies outside of Stamford Bridge.
As a woman, who is not a Chelsea fan, I have little time for John Terry. However, there is no denying that in his prime he was one of the best centre backs and leaders in the modern game. Now aged 31, he may have lost some pace, but he has not lost an ounce of the passion that makes every Chelsea fan proud to see him put on their club’s armband. His recent announcement will not change the fact that the banner “JT CAPTAIN, LEADER, LEGEND” will still be hung with pride for all to see at Stamford Bridge. To Chelsea fans, Terry will go down in history for all the right reasons.
But, the question has to be asked – is this right? Should a man who has been accused of so many immoral acts be treated as such an Adonis? The answer for the majority of people who do not see through Chelsea blue eyes is so clearly a no. I can only see it as a good thing that a man who will always be associated with racial accusations and a man who deems it acceptable to cheat on his wife with a teammate’s partner is taken as far away from the public eye, and as far away from being a role model to our children, as possible. Yes, England’s central defence may suffer. But Terry calling time on his England career is definitely a blessing in disguise.
Maybe now footballers can move away from the stereotypes of being philandering over-paid playboys. And with the likes of John Terry out of the picture, maybe now football can well and truly start to grow up.