A nice story for a Monday afternoon – Chelsea captain John Terry has reached into his sizeable pockets to help maintain the future of his club’s women’s football team.
According to a story in the Guardian, Chelsea Ladies – who have made good progress in the last few years – have suffered a cut in funding recently which threatened to overshadow their development. This perhaps isn’t surprising – over the last 24 months, and particularly since the recession took hold, the club have been openly looking for ways to cut costs and it seems that for the time being the Ladies aren’t top priority. It is the first time in five years that Chelsea Ladies have had their budget cut.
Chelsea Ladies captain, Casey Stoney, explained how Terry got involved. “It was a blow when we were told what was happening. I mentioned it to a friend who's also a mate of JT's, and when he was told about it JT came to find me at the training ground to ask if he could help.”
Casey continues: “He ended up putting his hand in his pocket and persuading some of the other players to do the same, so now we can keep going on the same footing we had last year. We need that level of funding if we are going to compete at the top end of the Premier League and do well in the big cup competitions, so the help we've had from the guys has been invaluable. JT has also become president of the women's club and he's been with his family to see us play, so he's taking a real interest.”
Yes, it will be easy for some to dismiss John Terry’s generosity by pointing to his significant wealth. Nevertheless, this was something that he did not need to do. It is great to see these kind of stories make the national newspapers and a pleasant distraction from the stories of drunkenness about English footballers that more frequently make the headlines. Hopefully Chelsea Ladies can take advantage of the efforts of John Terry and the other players who put their hands in their pockets and continue their push up the table – currently they sit second.
I’m happy to admit that I don’t watch women’s football – and I’m unlikely to start in the near future – but I understand the importance of maintaining the game at this level. Regardless, this is another story that is testament not only to the extraordinary dedication of John Terry to Chelsea, but also to the existence of a wider sense of ‘community’ at the club, which stretches well beyond the senior squad alone.
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