Saturday 23 September 2017

Departing Chelsea skipper John Terry: I couldn't care less about criticism

John Terry waves goodbye to the Chelsea faithful
John Terry waves goodbye to the Chelsea faithful

Andy Sims

John Terry has insisted he "could not care less" about the criticism surrounding his Chelsea farewell.

The Blues skipper said an emotional goodbye to Stamford Bridge by arranging his own substitution after 26 minutes of last Sunday's clash with Sunderland.

Terry's contrived departure, leaving the field to a guard of honour from his team-mates, was criticised by some pundits with the BBC's Garth Crooks saying: "This isn't Hollywood, this is a Premier League fixture."

Further c oncerns were raised after a bookmaker paid out thousands of pounds to three punters who bet on the specific time of the substitution, which corresponded to Terry's shirt number.

But despite the flak coming his way, 36-year-old defender Terry remains unrepentant.

"I couldn't care less, I promise you," he said. "All I care about is celebrating with my Chelsea fans. Me and them have a wonderful rapport and have done for 22 years.

"Nothing that people write or say can ever get in the way of that.

"If that's the way I want to go out, that's the way I go out because I've been here 22 years, I've won so many trophies - so if I wanted to play one minute and come off, I would have done.

"I wanted to play 26 minutes because the shirt number means a lot to me and the supporters so as long as they are happy - and I was over the moon with the reception - I promise you I could not care less."

Terry hopes to make his 718th and last appearance for the Blues in Saturday's FA Cup final against Arsenal.

But the former England captain says he will never forget the ovation he received from the Stamford Bridge faithful.

"It was an unbelievable send-off from the supporters to help me to celebrate 22 years at the club," he added.

"I'm very grateful to them, and it was something I will never forget. It was so emotional after the game, I was in bits."

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