John Terry wearing full Chelsea kit including boots, shin pads and even sock tape to collect the Champions League trophy in 2012, despite being suspended for the final, has become one of football’s biggest oddities over the years.
Not allowed to play after a red card in the semi final, Terry had to watch on as his teammates miraculously beat heavy favourites Bayern Munich that night. Yet the club captain was front and centre as if he’d just come off the pitch when the trophy was handed out.
Now, the new Aston Villa assistant manager has revealed why he did it, citing heartbreak in the 2008 final when he missed a penalty that would have seen Chelsea beat Manchester United in Moscow and claiming it was ‘only right’ for him to be a part of it in 2012.
“I’ve got shin pads, tape, the lot, I went for it,” Terry explained during an appearance on popular sport-comedy TV panel show ‘A League of Their Own’ this week.
“I dreamed of that for years. After what happened in Moscow for me personally, to see the delight among the players we had, the squad we had and the fans too, it meant everything to me. I thought it was only right I was part of the celebrations.”
Terry’s role in Chelsea’s 2012 celebrations differed vastly from the reluctant participation of Roy Keane and Paul Scholes when they were suspended for Manchester United’s UEFA Champions League win in 1999. Both remained in suits and largely hung back from the rest of the squad.
Having now formally closed the chapter on a 20-year playing career, 37-year-old Terry now faces a new challenge as he looks to help new Aston Villa boss Dean Smith steer the struggling club into Championship promotion contention after a disappointing start to the season.