Whatever you think of the controversy surrounding Chelsea and England skipper John Terry and his suitability as a role model, you have to admire his guts and determination on the football pitch.
In the face of adversity Terry is a master at producing his best form and leading by example, as he did to earn Chelsea a point in the 1-1 draw at Tottenham on Thursday evening – just 24 hours after learning he is facing a criminal charge of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in a match at Loftus Road in October.
Terry has had a couple of dodgy displays – in particular when Arsenal won 5-3 at Stamford Bridge – but his manager Andre Villas-Boas was not far off the mark when he said: “John’s level of performances have increased since the incident happened. He is a fantastic player, his talent and commitment are never in doubt.”
Terry was taunted throughout the match at White Hart Lane by the home support. But he ensured the game ended level with an injury-time goal-line clearance from Emmanuel Adebayor, who had given Spurs an early lead before Daniel Sturridge drew Chelsea level.
As I have said numerous times before I think it is in everyone’s best interests if Terry steps down as England captain because he has brought shame on this role too many times before, whether or not he is found guilty of racist abuse. But a guilty verdict does not necessarily make him a racist and he will always be respected for his guts and determination on the pitch.