Former England captain John Terry has announced his retirement from playing.
The long-serving Chelsea defender has hung up his boots at the age of 37 and is understood to be primed for a quick return to Aston Villa.
He is poised to become Thierry Henry’s assistant at the club he played for last season, with former Arsenal star Henry in pole position to be named as manager this week.
Terry wrote on Instagram: ‘After 23 incredible years as a footballer, I have decided now is the right time to retire from playing. I have many people to thank.
‘My wife Toni and my two children, Georgie and Summer, for being my rocks throughout my career – I couldn’t have done it without you, I love you with all my heart.
‘I thank my parents, Sue and Ted, for the sacrifices they made for me as a boy, giving me the best opportunity to fulfil my dream and become a professional footballer.’
Terry turned down a move to Spartak Moscow last month, saying it was not the right option for his family.
His last game as a professional was Villa’s 1-0 Championship play-off final defeat to Fulham in May.
Terry won 78 England caps, five Premier League titles with Chelsea, five FA Cups and three League Cups. He also picked up Champions League and Europa League winners’ medals but did not play in the finals.
He made 717 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 67 times, before joining Villa in 2017, playing 36 games for the club.
So, what now for John Terry?
Reports have suggested he will be part of a new management team at Villa Park after Steve Bruce was sacked on Thursday.
Arsenal icon Henry is expected to be head coach with Terry as assistant.