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03rd Jul 2017

Chairman reacts as John Terry officially becomes Aston Villa player

Enjoyed a sly dig at Birmingham in the process

Darragh Murphy

The words “Aston Villa defender, John Terry,” will take some getting used to.

But the Chelsea legend has officially been announced as Villa’s most high-profile signing in some years, having called time on a 19-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

After 717 games, five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, a Champions League, a Europa League and three League Cups for the club, Terry acknowledged that the time had come to move on when it became clear that he no longer stood a chance of working his way into the Blues first team.

“I feel I still have plenty to offer on the pitch but understand that opportunities here at Chelsea will be limited for me,” Terry wrote in a statement towards the end of last season. “I’m eager to carry on playing and so will be looking to continue with a new challenge.”

Several clubs were in the running for Terry’s signature; with Bournemouth, Swansea and Birmingham actively pursuing the former England international throughout June.

But Aston Villa won out in the end, with the Championship club’s chairman taking to social media to welcome the 36-year-old to Villa Park while taking a sly shot at local arch-rivals Birmingham in the process.

Manager Steve Bruce managed to convince Terry to join the Villans during a golf outing last month, and it’s understood that the former England international has joined on a one-year deal.

Villa finished in 13th place in the Championship last season, 18 points off the final play-off place, but Bruce will hope that Terry’s matchless top-flight experience and leadership qualities can motivate his side and boost them towards promotion.