Something strange is happening at the minute in the footballing world. No, Mario Balotelli has not missed a penalty. Sergio Ramos has still not stopped getting a yellow card every game. Nor has Leo Messi failed to find the back of the net – it is far too soon in the season to face Petr Cech after all. What has occurred however is something that is shocking at best. John Terry, Chelsea skipper and serial womaniser, has been receiving some rather good press. Yes, you read that right, good press.
The defender has often been criticised (usually quite rightly) for his conduct and whilst for his club he is a rock at the back, something that cannot be denied is he is a slightly dubious individual off it. Parking in disabled spaces and having dalliances with women who are not his wife in the back of his Bentley are one thing, but the Wayne Bridge and Anton Ferdinand things are on another level all together. These unsavoury events have led to Terry being one of the most hated players around – and one who gets the worst press to boot.
This week however, there has been not one, but two separate positive things written about the former England skipper in the papers- firstly from former Aston Villa skipper Stan Petrov, who of course is in remission from battling Leukaemia and hosted a charity match last week.
He noted that there was a side to John Terry that the public do not see and told the Sunday Mirror that: “From the moment the news came out about my illness he was one of the first to get in touch and he has carried on being supportive ever since.
“He doesn’t always have an easy time with the fans, but I have seen a very different man to that image,
“He has gone out of his way to encourage me at different times – always sending messages and texts while I was going through treatment, even though sometimes it might have been a month before I felt strong enough to return them.”
Quite a different Terry than we hear about on a weekly basis from the majority of the press, but the love in does not stop there. The Chelsea legend has also been lauded by former Chelsea youth player Sam Tillen who wrote in his Footballers’ Football column that the skipper was second to none during his time at the club – and was always there in times of hardship for the younger players.
He noted: “I had three long-term injuries at Chelsea and John was brilliant. At one point, he was coming back from injury as well, so we got to know each other.
“When I was getting fit, I got injured again. John used the club’s discipline fund to pay for a holiday to the Caribbean. I took my mum. He also gave me spending money, and offered the services of his agent.
“People have their opinions of John but he was brilliant to me. When my brother, Joe, was in the youth team, John paid for everyone’s driving lessons, because he remembered how expensive it was.”
Quite if stories like these make up for the way JT has behaved in the past remains to be seen – and in the eyes of people he has crossed or offended they certainly will not, but the fact remains, people are not all good or all bad. Terry, as a player, cannot be questioned. He is one of the best defenders of a generation, and stories like this make you wonder if he sometimes gets a hard go of it in the media – and if he is not as bad as people say off it too.
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