Pat Mitchell joins the BackPageFootball team and takes a look at the life and times of the man commonly known as JT. No, not the former NSYNC member, but true blue Mr. England, John Terry.
John Terry is a man who has often been in the media spotlight for the wrong reasons, but it’s possible that he is a believer of the phrase that ‘a family who plays together, stays together.’ After all, his mother is accused of being a shoplifter and his father has allegedly been filmed selling cocaine in his local wine bar. Perhaps JT is trying to prove the idea that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
The first blot on Terry’s copybook occurred in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Chelsea’s match with Levski Sofia had been called off as a mark of respect for the victims of the attacks, so Terry and a small group of teammates decided to use their newfound spare time to embark on a drinking session which led to them mocking grieving American tourists. Their banter for the evening included stripping naked, laughing, vomiting and of course, diving down the lanes of a bowling alley head first! To be fair, it sounded like they had a great time…
Next up on his CV was his arrest for assault and affray in January 2002 along with teammate Jody Morris and friend Des Byrne. The fracas is said to have started after a bouncer shouted a racist insult at Byrne, but unreliable sources tell me that it actually started when the bouncer claimed that little Jody Morris “could probably take JT in a fight”. All three were later cleared of their assault and affray charges.
‘Mr. Chelsea’ stayed relatively free from trouble until November 2006, when he got sent off for two bookable offences in a 2-1 defeat to rivals Tottenham. Terry claimed that referee Graham Poll had said to him that Chelsea “needed to be taught a lesson” and that Poll had also given him two conflicting reasons for his sending off. He was later fined £10,000 by the FA and told to apologise to Poll. All things considered, one could be forgiven for thinking that JT’s behaviour was on the up at this stage.
During the 2007 Carling Cup final against Arsenal, Terry was knocked clean out by the boot of Abou Diaby. Diaby’s Arsenal career is believed to have been in doubt but the incident showed that he had a mean kick and the short-term spike in Diaby merchandise sales secured his immediate future at the Emirates. It was feared poor Terry had swallowed his tongue, and players who frantically waved on the medical teams claimed he was turning blue. Terry later thanked Arsenal physio Gary Lewin, whose quick actions are believed to have saved his life. Incidentally, a Facebook group was later started by some relatives of 9/11 victims titled ‘Damn you Gary Lewin!’ Its members include bouncers, referees and other general people of the world.
JT’s next spot in the controversial spotlight came in late 2009 when it was reported that he and well known ticket tout, Tony Bruce, were selling access to Chelsea’s training facility for £10,000 a pop. He said his share would go to a kids’ charity but insisted that the deal be kept secret, adding: “If the club finds out, it’s a little bit….” This could be classed as another one of those situations where Terry’s behaviour could be deemed as improving.
Then comes the big one: the affair with England team-mate Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Perroncel. No need to go into any great detail. I’m sure we’re all aware of most of the ins and outs of the story that has cost JT his England captaincy. Perhaps one of Terry’s new mottos is ‘the family who doesn’t play together, stays together’, but I imagine he’ll have a hard time flogging that idea to Toni. It’s amazing to think that Daddies Sauce, who are said (once again, by unreliable sources) to be furious with the situation, awarded Terry the accolade of ‘Dad of the Year’ for 2009.
The whole affair does leave me with two important questions: “John, was it you who first brought Avram to a brothel?” and “Vanessa….. why John Terry?”