With the biggest London derby against Chelsea in years fast approaching, an ambitious attempt to detail the legitimate reasons to hate the South London club found ourselves hard pressed to finish by tonight. Instead, in an examination of captain John Terry’s indiscretions we have produced a more pragmatic, although similarly lengthy, and at times, self-righteous chronicle. We have also had to limited this to one member of the Terry clan. And only to off the pitch incidents.
There is no love lost between John Terry and any football fan with a conscience and we at Lillywhite Rose especially despise the fella. Fortunately Christmas has come early for us in recent years as John Terry has had to endure early (hopefully cold) baths as he has been shown red twice at the Lane. On the second occasion he seemed determined to be dismissed. The first was a coming together between our respective number 26’s and former Senrab FC team mates. A comparison between the two is an exercise rooted in club personification. Ours is the epitome of grace, sportsmanship and imperiousness, theirs is an arrogant, unsavoury, nuisance. The “Oh Ledley, Ledley” chants will rightly have us sounding like a broken record. Ledley’s inexcusable drunken jibe was an isolated case, whereas for the acolytes of a narrative pertaining the moral depravity of football’s contemporary icons, John Terry is the gift that keeps on giving.
Terry’s induction into public consciousness as a vile human being came in 2001, after 9/11, as Terry and other team mates thought it was somewhat hilarious to drunkenly mock American tourists at Heathrow Airport. A year later he allegedly injured a bouncer during a confrontation with the doorman in a night-club in the early hours of the morning. Terry was banned from the England set-up until the end of the case and the FA’s role as a responsible but forgiving parent endured. On another occasion, the recipient of £100 000 a week parked in a disabled spot, thereby inviting a £60 fine, instead of paying 50p to park a few metres further away. Throwing money around to keep out of trouble is, post-Abramovich, the Chelsea way. More widely documented was John Terry’s unfaithfulness. For betraying his best friend and wife and kids, the Chelsea skipper was stripped of his England captaincy in late 2009. Bizarrely, he was hastily reinstated without much fuss and John Terry once again proved his ability to remove any costs to professional development from personal misdemeanours. This left the captain at the time, Rio Ferdinand, outraged. Soon, his brother Anton was alleged to be on the other end of racial abuse by Terry in which the Crown Prosecution Service have levelled charges. His trial starts shortly after Redknapp’s and the courts, one would hope, will serve both parties with just deserts. It must also be acknowledged that at least Chelsea arrive with less pending convictions than than our previous opponents.
Terry limped off in open training on Tuesday but is likely to play in this festive cracker, and what a game it should be. Let’s bid a loud White Hart Lane farewell to ‘JT’ before he embarks on a now inexorable lengthy ban with a right footballing lesson in decorum and glory. It’s what, on the pitch at least, we know best. We can easily claim the moral high ground against rivals led by a certain John Terry but, similarly, we can also continue our superiority in league. In this, a win tonight can make us twice as merry.
Joel Merriman @Merrimania