John Terry sensationally ended his England career on this day eight years ago, with the former captain effectively accusing the Football Association of forcing his hand after charging him with using racist language.
Terry was cleared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in Chelsea’s game against QPR in October 2011, but the FA’s decision to investigate the matter was a factor in his international retirement.
A statement issued by the defender said: “I am announcing my retirement from international football. I would like to thank the England managers who have selected me for my 78 caps.
“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.
“I am making this statement in advance of the hearing of the FA disciplinary charge because I feel The FA, in pursuing charges against me where I have already been cleared in a court of law, have made my position with the
national team untenable.
“I now look forward to playing for Chelsea FC, and challenging for domestic and European honours, and I want to thank the fans and the club for their continued support.”
Terry categorically denied the charge against him but following a four-day FA independent regulatory commission hearing, the Chelsea skipper was banned for four matches and fined £220,000 after being found guilty of the offence.
Terry made his England debut in 2003 and three years later he became captain, but he was stripped of the armband in 2010 following allegations he had an affair with a former partner of Blues team-mate Wayne Bridge.
He was reinstated in March 2011 but was relieved of the captaincy again 11 months later, a decision taken against the wishes of Fabio Capello and one which hastened the Italian’s exit as England manager.”
Capello’s successor Roy Hodgson said of Terry’s international retirement: “I am of course disappointed to lose a player of John’s international experience and exceptional ability.
“I have enjoyed a good relationship with John during my time as England manager and I reluctantly accept his decision. I’d like to wish John well for the future with Chelsea.”
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