Former Chelsea defender John Terry has revealed just how close he came to joining Manchester United and explained how he defied his father’s decision to join the Blues.
After spending four years at West Ham’s youth academy, Terry signed for Chelsea’s youth team in 1995. He went on to spend more than two decades of his club career at the Stamford Bridge since then. He retired as Chelsea’s captain after helping them win their first Champions League title and five Premier League titles. However, he has revealed that he was close to joining Manchester United in his young days.
“I had the option between Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United and to be fair all of them went above and beyond,” he told the Footballer’s Guide to Football podcast. “The moment I walked into Chelsea, it just felt right. I know that’s going to sound really bizarre.
“Again, my dad never wanted me to sign for Chelsea. Actually, on the pitch of me signing my schoolboy form at the club, my dad refused to go on the pitch with me. I’m in the tunnel, the players are coming off the pitch and I’m waiting in the tunnel, Glenn Hoddle goes past and my dad’s going, ‘You’re not signing for this football club, we should sign for Manchester United’.
“Again, me being me at the time I’m going, ‘I’m 100 per cent I’m signing here, if you don’t come out with me I’m going out to sign’.
“And you needed a parent, so my mum said she would come and sign it with me, my dad’s going mad at my mum, ‘No you won’t’.
“There’s a picture of my mum and Graham Rix signing my contract, but my dad refused and absolutely kicked off that night. Again, me being the character I was, I knew Chelsea was right for me.
“One night that was probably supposed to be one of the best nights of my life turned out to be a tough one for a young 14-year-old to be honest.
“I just knew and loved Chelsea from the moment I walked in and never looked back, I still love the club and look out for every result now. It’s great to see Lamps and Jody in there now doing their thing, excellent.”
Terry left Chelsea in 2017 after lifting the Premier League title under Antonio Conte. He joined Aston Villa and made 36 appearances for the Championship side before announcing his retirement in 2018. He had an offer from Spartak Moscow but the Englishman declined their offer citing family reasons.