Chelsea club captain John Terry is to leave the club at the end of this season after nearly two decades as a first team player.

Terry – often referred to by Blues fans as ‘captain, leader, legend’, although as something else by fans of opposition teams – is leaving as his first-team opportunities are becoming increasingly limited.

Since making his debut in 1998, Terry has made 713 appearances for Chelsea – 578 of those as captain – putting him 3rd on the club’s list of appearance makers.

He is also their most decorated player, having won 4 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, a Champions League and a Europa League.

He has also been voted PFA Player of the Year – just one of 5 defenders to win the accolade.

“I feel I still have plenty to offer on the pitch but understand that opportunities here at Chelsea will be limited,” he said.

“I will, of course, always be a Blue and am desperate to end my final season as a Chelsea player with more silverware.

“I have always been conscious that I depart at the right time and in the right way, and I feel that the end of this season is the right time for the club and I.

“I am eager to carry on playing and so will be looking to continue with a new challenge.”

Speculation linked Terry to a move to China in January, and there will likely be more interest in him from the Far East. He is also likely to have offers from other Premier League teams and the US.

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Source: Football Gifts Direct