John Terry was given an emotional farewell as his Chelsea teammates formed a guard of honour in the 26th minute of their 5-1 mauling of Sunderland to win EPL title.
Manquillo had given Sunderland an early lead before Willian got the equalizer before halftime.
Pedro and Batshuayi then combined to give the champion a 5-1 victory.
In the 26th minute, John Terry was brought on for Gary Cahill as the Chelsea players formed a guard of honour in respect for the club legend.
Terry’s cameo was his 717th appearance for Chelsea over a 22-year career with the club, during which he has won 15 major trophies.
In a tearful speech after lifting the trophy, Terry said:
“Today is one of the most difficult days of my life.I’ve been very fortunate to work with some unbelievable players and managers throughout my career. I’m thankful to every single one of them.
“We all have to thank this wonderful man, Roman Abramovich. I’d like to thank him and all the board. He’s the best owner in world football.
“I’d like to thank my wife and my kids for supporting me in this amazing journey I’ve had. And I thank you the fans. You are the best supporters in the world, without a shadow of a doubt. You’ve given me everything. You picked me up when I was down, sung my name when I had a bad game and disappointed you. I’ll come back here one day, supporting the team for years to come.”
However, Terry defended the guard of honour to be his idea after pundits lambasted the decision:
“I kind of negotiated with the manager to play 26 minutes and come off,” Terry said. “I think he wanted to get the boys that didn’t play on Monday night against Watford and give them a run-out. It was a compromise between the two of us.”
And in a statement, Antonio Conte cued:
“I think that we had to find the best for him, to start the game and to be substituted in 26 minutes, his shirt number. To see our players prepare a guard of honour for him was great, a fantastic idea.”
Written by Chineze Ogugua