JOHN TERRY admits he ‘misses her every day’ as he considers launching one of the most famous playing careers in Chelsea’s 23-year history.
The former England centre-back played the wide-eyed substitute at the age of 17 after Chelsea advanced 4-1 late in their League Cup match against Aston Villa.
By the time he left Stamford Bridge in 2017, he was their third-best appearance maker ever, in 717 appearances, with five Premier League titles and a Champions League victory.
Player and manager Gianluca Vialli had just completed a hat-trick in the 85th minute when Terry replaced Dan Petrescu for a 4-1 win over Villa on October 28, 1998.
By 2001 he was the team’s best player and captain.
And the 78-man JT celebrated the anniversary of his four-minute debut by posting on Instagram: “On this day 1998 I made my debut with @chelseafc. I miss her every day…”
But although his stubborn defense made him a favorite with the Blues fans, his stint at Stamford Bridge was fraught with controversy.
By far, the main case was banned for four matches and a fine of £220,000 for racially abusing Queens Park Ranger defender Anton Ferdinand in October 2011.
Terry denied the allegations and was found not guilty in court, where the case must be proven to a higher level – beyond a reasonable doubt.
Two years earlier, he was the subject of three offers from Manchester City, confirming his place as one of the Premier League’s all-time greats in defence.
Terry saw his days playing a season in the championship in 2017-8, including the agony of a final match against Fulham.
He then spent three years as a coach for Villa, before leaving the summer to “develop my goal and my goal of becoming a manager”.
And in the past few days, bets on him taking charge with newly wealthy Newcastle have fallen from 66-1 to 8-1.
But Paulo Fonseca and Lucien Favre remain the candidates to replace sacked Steve Bruce.