Premier League leaders Chelsea have announced that long-serving captain John Terry is to leave the club at the end of the season.
The former England international has spent his entire career to date with the Blues, having first joined their youth ranks in 1995.
Everybody at Stamford Bridge would like to express our enormous gratitude to John and wish him the very best of luck for the future. pic.twitter.com/Yo9NrXNBMs
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 17, 2017
After 22 years of loyal service which have delivered 713 appearances, including a record 578 as skipper, the 36-year-old will move on once his current contract expires.
Terry will depart as a club legend at Stamford Bridge, having lifted four Premier League titles, five FA cups, three League cups, the Europa League and the Champions League over the course of a distinguished career.
The 36-year-old Terry has dropped so far down the pecking order at Chelsea that the last of his 713 appearances came two months ago in the FA Cup. The centre back last played in the English Premier League for the leader in November and has already started studying for coaching qualifications and learning Portuguese.
“The club and I have always had a fantastic relationship, which will continue beyond my playing days,” Terry said in a statement on Monday. “We had some really positive talks but with everything taken into careful consideration I have decided it’s the right time for me to leave.
“I’ve always been conscious that I depart at the right time, in the right way, and I feel that the end of this season is the right time for the club.”