Aston Villa’s appointment of Dean Smith brought a popular figure back to Villa Park, with John Terry returning in a coaching role just months after he departed as a player.
Steve Bruce was the man to originally bring Terry to the Midlands, with Villa’s former boss convincing the Chelsea and England legend to step down into the Championship and boost Villa’s promotion push ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
Surprisingly for some, Terry agreed, signing a short-term contract with Villa.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) July 3, 2017
Terry was made club captain and claimed his iconic No.26 jersey, with sights firmly on the Premier League.
It was a tough start to the season for Villa and Terry, but they soon found their feet, working their way into play-off contention.
The 37-year-old centre-back featured in 32 fixtures across the regular season, scoring one goal in the process. Terry helped Bruce’s side finish fourth in the Championship table, setting up a play-off semi-final against Middlesbrough.
Three more appearances came in the play-offs, with Terry featuring in both legs against Middlesbrough before leading Villa out at Wembley against Fulham in the play-off final.
That final was won by Tom Cairney’s goal, with Villa falling agonisingly short of a Premier League return.
As expected, that spelled the end of Terry’s time as a player at Villa Park, with an announcement coming in late May that the defender was calling time on his Villa career.
Of course, Terry is back now, but on the day of his departure, supporters were left gutted.
In our latest FLW Rewind, we take a look back at some of the reaction from that day…
Thanks for everything JT. ????????????????
— The Religion – AVFC (@AVFC_Religion) May 30, 2018
Hated the bloke but after 1 season became a hero for me…he had no affiliation with our club but gave his all and for that I thank him from the bottom of my heart…good luck JT in your next role #UTV
— Darren Avfc Judge (@dazjudge) May 30, 2018
We knew it was coming but still gutted non the less. Thanks for everything JT. Captain. Leader. Legend.
— Cara Parker (@caraparker84) May 30, 2018
was quality to see a legend play for Villa ????❤
— Jake Grinnell (@dexteravfc) May 30, 2018
Club statement : we’re falling apart again x
— Kai Edmead-Mckie (@KaiiAV) May 30, 2018
Thanks JT, well played
— Shelley (@ShelleyOzzy) May 30, 2018
Thanks for everything legend, best signing in years. You will be sorely missed #UTV
— Nick (@NickRedV) May 30, 2018