Chelsea Ladies, on the verge of FA Cup success, thank John Terry for rescuing team

John Terry gatecrashing big-stage celebrations has become a hugely popular internet meme - but if there were ever a trophy party he could justifiably intrude on it might come on Saturday.

John Terry has played a major role in saving Chelsea Ladies when the team had the funding reduced. Glyyn Kirk / AFP
Powered by automated translation

John Terry gatecrashing big-stage celebrations has become a hugely popular internet meme — but if there were ever a trophy party he could justifiably intrude on it might come on Saturday.

Chelsea Ladies had seen their budget cut in 2009 and looked set for difficult times ahead until Terry, having heard of their predicament, approached the team’s then captain Casey Stoney with the offer of assistance.

It came in the form of unexpected funding from the Premier League pockets of men’s first-team captain Terry and a number of his fellow players.

Terry became and to this day remains club president of Chelsea Ladies, who play Notts County on Saturday in the first SSE Women’s FA Cup final to be staged at Wembley.

Success has not come quickly for Chelsea Ladies since Terry and teammates rode to their rescue, but the club are again investing heavily on the women’s side.

Slowly, surely, the faith of the man who along with Jose Mourinho and Roman Abramovich embodies modern-day Chelsea is being rewarded.

Chelsea Ladies vice-captain Gilly Flaherty was an Arsenal player when the financial intervention came from Terry.

“He got hold of some money and saved the women’s team,” Flaherty said.

“Since then we’ve had preseason friendlies at Cobham and he comes down to watch.”

The former England captain’s celebration in full kit after missing Chelsea’s 2012 Uefa Champions League triumph through suspension was widely lampooned. His image has been superimposed on pictures ever since, from sporting successes to Barack Obama’s election-night success and the famous Oscars selfie taken by Ellen DeGeneres.

Chelsea Ladies are simply proud of, and inspired by, their one-time benefactor.

“He’s our president and if you want players from the men’s team to recognise us and appreciate what we do, I believe we have to be successful,” Flaherty said.

“Everyone at Arsenal knew about Arsenal Ladies because we won more trophies than the Arsenal men’s team, and that’s what we have to instil.

“The mentality of Chelsea is that they’re winners. We need to bring success to this club to show we are good enough. It’s only a matter of time before we start bringing silverware to the club.

“They bend over backwards for us. We’ve got to thank our chairman, Bruce Buck. All they want, the people higher up, is trophies and for us to do well. That’s our responsibility.”

Flaherty, 23, has been tipped to break through to the England squad but remains just outside its fringes.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @NatSportUAE