John Terry is not admired like Steven Gerrard

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When Steven Gerrard played his final match for Liverpool, he did so amid a wave of tributes. Although the result of that game - an embarrassing 6-1 defeat against Stoke City - caused some rival fans to poke fun at the departing skipper, the general feeling of overwhelming appreciation for what he has achieved remained intact.  

It may come as a surprise, then, that John Terry - a one club man at Chelsea discounting a brief loan spell at Nottingham Forest - does not receive the same credit for his loyalty and leadership from any bar the Blues faithful.

As the bitter taste of the Wayne Bridge and Anton Ferdinand fallouts continue to linger in the terraces, Terry's high profile has only counted against him in the popularity stakes.

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A captain's curse

Resentment towards Terry first became widespread in January 2010 when allegations emerged that he had indulged in an extramarital affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the ex-girlfriend of national and former club teammate Wayne Bridge. The allegations caused Terry to temporarily lose the England captaincy.

Terry is, of course, not the only well-known player of his generation to be involved in an extramarital sex scandal. Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs was accused of having affairs both with Big Brother's Imogen Thomas and his own sister-in-law, Natasha.

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Given Giggs's popularity, it is unusual that his alleged misdemeanours have largely been swept under the carpet by supporters while Terry continues to be vilified for his.

However, when one is England captain as Terry was at the time, criticism is always stronger than it would otherwise be. Gerrard found this out in 2014 when he was scapegoated for his country's poor World Cup performances.

Unfortunately for Terry, the frenzy caused by the Bridge saga - and later his alleged racist slur towards Anton Ferdinand in October 2011 - never quite died down.

In court, Terry was found not guilty of using racist language towards Ferdinand. However, The FA were unconvinced and banned him for four matches, also permanently stripping his captain's armband. Perhaps the fact that he had regained it in the first place added to the coverage the incident received.

Keeping close to home

However, there was another key factor separating this and Terry's alleged affair with Perroncel to the Giggs saga: both of the centre-back's high-profile spats were with top flight footballers, while Giggs kept his private life outside the Premier League community.

It is thus no surprise that the allegations against Terry have left a greater stain on his reputation than even those facing a fellow prominent footballer such as Giggs.

It may be that Premier League fans' general resentment of Chelsea caused by their recent spending and success has been another contributing factor to Terry's lack of popularity.

All that is certain is that rival supporters will never quite forget the sagas which caused him to twice lose the England captaincy and in their eyes, his tainted legacy off the pitch will continue to overshadow his remarkable achievements on it. 

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John Terry
Premier League
Steven Gerrard

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