John Terry has left Aston Villa after Saturday’s defeat against Fulham in the Championship playoff final, both the club and the player announced on Wednesday.
The former Chelsea captain played a key role in helping Villa to the brink of promotion to the Premier League, making 32 Championship appearances, and manager Steve Bruce last week indicated that he hoped the 37-year-old might trigger the 12-month extension option in his contract at the club.
But in a post on Instagram, Terry said: “Today I part ways with Aston Villa Football Club. I’m very proud to have had the opportunity to play and captain this great and huge club.
“I have given my everything this year both on and off the pitch and I’m still hurting today that we never managed to get back to the Premier League, where this club 100 percent belongs.
“I would like to thank Steve Bruce who was instrumental in me joining Villa, I have learnt so much from him as a manager this season that will stay with me forever. Also, I’d like to thank all the staff and players and our owner Dr Tony [Xia], who it was a real pleasure and honour to work with every day.
“Finally, a special thank you to the Villa supporters who have supported us both home and away in their thousands, up and down the country and have been amazing to me on a personal level. Villa will always have a place in my heart and I will look back on my time here and think about how close we were to reaching our goal.
“But now going forward, I would like to wish the management, staff, players and supporters good luck for the future.”
Terry gave no indication whether he will retire this summer or look to continue his professional career at another club. He has repeatedly stated his desire in transitioning into management when he hangs up his boots.
In a statement confirming his departure on their website, Aston Villa said: “We would like to place on record our most sincere thanks for the effort and professionalism he showed with us last season.
“John is a true leader and was everything and more that we hoped. Hugely popular and influential in the dressing room, he played a real captain’s role in creating the incredible bond the players shared with our supporters, and vice-versa.
“We hope he looks back on his time with Villa fondly and we wish him the very best as his career moves forward.”
Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.