Accolades pour in for John Terry

As news of John Terry's impending exit from Chelsea broke, former teammate, at club and country level, Frank Lampard paid glowing tribute to the former Blues skipper.

Frank Lampard and John Terry struck up a partnership at Chelsea and England, and were great friends off the field.   -  Reuters

As news of John Terry's impending exit from Chelsea broke, former teammate, at club and country level, Frank Lampard paid glowing tribute to the former Blues skipper.

The former Chelsea midfielder hailed Terry, who will leave Stamford Bridge after 22 years, as the greatest defender to have graced the toughest domestic league in the world.

Blues great Terry to leave Chelsea

Lampard said on his Instagram page: "The last man standing of an incredible era for chelseafc.

"What a pleasure to play with the greatest defender in the premierleague history. In fact, I'd put him up with any defender in world football of any era. He led the club both on and off the pitch from the moment he made his debut.

"He set standards for everyone, whether it was demanding excellence in training, fighting for every win or respecting how fortunate we were to play for such a great club.

"He was, and is, a legend, not just for his talent but just as much for his desire to get the best out of himself and others around him. That's what made him the most successful captain in the club's history.

"Off the pitch a great friend to not just me but so many at the club and outside of it. The countless things I've seen JT do to help people outside of the game, things that not many see, are what defines him as a man.

"johnterry.26 you deserve every accolade you get over the next weeks and beyond and I hope you get what you deserve and lift two massive trophies at the end of the season (just to add to the tally).

"Whatever you do next I know everyone will respect your decision and I know that the Chels will always be your club. Absolute respect."

The Spine

Other former teammates Ashley Cole, who now plays for LA Galaxy in the MLS, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech, currently at Arsenal, also took to Instagram to pay tributes.

Terry, 36, has bagged 14 major pieces of silverware in his 22-year stay. The duo, along with Drogba and Cech, formed Chelsea's spine and were key to the London club's dominance in the last decade.

Chelsea currently sits four points atop the Premier League and is on course to winning the Premeir League in Antonio Conte's first season in charge of the club.