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On this day in 2012: Ex-England captain John Terry quits international football

Soccer – UEFA Euro 2012 – Group D – Sweden v England – NSC Olimpiyskiy
(Image credit: Anthony Devlin)

On this day in 2012, former England captain John Terry retired from international football.

The then 31-year-old Chelsea defender, who had been capped 78 times by his country, announced his decision to walk away on the eve of a Football Association disciplinary hearing into an allegation – which he denied – that he had racially abused QPR’s Anton Ferdinand in October 2011.

Terry, who had earlier successfully defended a criminal charge relating to the same incident at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, insisted his position had become “untenable” having already been stripped of the captaincy – a decision which prompted then England boss Fabio Capello to quit.

Fabio Capello leaves his central London home following his resignation as England manager

Fabio Capello leaving his London home following his resignation as England manager (Steve Parsons/PA)

He said at the time: “Representing and captaining my country is what I dreamed of as a boy and it has been a truly great honour. I have always given my all and it breaks my heart to make this decision.”

Four days later, he was found guilty of misconduct by an independent regulatory commission and banned for four games with a £220,000 fine – a decision he decided not to appeal against.

Terry, who joined Chelsea’s academy aged 14, made his England debut as a substitute in a friendly against Serbia and Montenegro on June 3, 2003 under Sven-Goran Eriksson and played at Euro 2004 and Euro 2012 and the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

He was handed the captain’s armband by Steve McClaren in summer 2006 and, although he was temporarily removed from the position by Capello in February 2010 over an alleged affair with England team-mate Wayne Bridge’s French model ex-girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel, he was eventually reinstated.

Chelsea’s John Terry celebrates with the Premier League trophy

Chelsea’s John Terry celebrates with the Premier League trophy (Nick Potts/PA)

Terry made his last appearance for his country in a 5-0 World Cup qualifying victory in Moldova weeks before announcing his retirement.

He continued to thrive at club level, where he went on to make a total of 717 appearances for the Blues, 580 of them as captain, adding two more Premier League titles to the three he had already won as well as Europa League and League Cup successes to extend an honour roll which also included the Champions League and five FA Cups.

He moved to Aston Villa in July 2017 and later joined the coaching staff. He stepped down as Dean Smith’s assistant head coach in July to pursue his own managerial ambitions.