John Terry’s final minute as a Chelsea player still looks bizarre now

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John Terry is one of the greatest centre-backs of the Premier League era, if not *the* greatest.

Only a handful of defenders rival him for that particular title, including Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Vincent Kompany. Virgil van Dijk will also be part of the conversation when he brings the curtain down on his career.

Terry made 717 appearances for the Blues, scoring an impressive 67 goals in the process, and won a host of major honours.

After 19 years as a professional with Chelsea, Terry left Stamford Bridge with five Premier League winners’ medals. He also won the FA Cup the same number of times and was part of the Chelsea teams that lifted the Champions League and Europa League trophies.

But when you think back to his final game with the west London outfit, what happened on that sunny May afternoon is still quite unbelievable.

Chelsea, who had already wrapped up the Premier League title, were at home to rock-bottom Sunderland.

Terry started the match but then, in the 26th minute, the game was unexpectedly stopped as the Chelsea players formed a guard of honour to say farewell to their outgoing captain.

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It’s incredible to think this actually happened in a proper Premier League match.

Sunderland were playing for pride at the time but seemed to have no problem with this happening.

Why the 26th minute? That was, of course, Terry’s shirt number.

Watch the footage here…

A classy moment or all a bit embarrassing?

The general consensus from football fans on social media at the time was that it was very cringeworthy.

Speaking on Match of the Day later that day, Premier League legend Alan Shearer wasn’t impressed either.

“First of all (Terry) has been an absolute giant of the Premier League, 717 appearances, 15 trophies, but I’m not sure about this,” the former Newcastle United striker said.

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“Sunderland agreeing to kick the ball out on 26 minutes, I don’t think anything should be done that could undermine the integrity of the game.

“I know it was done with good intentions and he deserves the guard of honour, but it should have been before or after the game or in the last minute.”

The Football Association carried out an investigation but Terry, Chelsea and Sunderland all avoided punishment after the FA’s integrity unit found no evidence of spot-fixing.

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