JOHN TERRY’S departure from Chelsea means another member of England’s ‘Golden Generation’ is slipping away after a celebrated club career.
The exiting skipper is wanted by a long list of Premier League sides but his best days – for country and now club – are behind him.
England’s once celebrated Golden Generation – led by Celebrity footballer David Beckham – did not achieve what they should have.
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The 2004 European Champions were the high point with a Wayne Rooney-inspired side crashing out on penalties in the quarter-finals.
It was the same story in 2006 when Cristiano Ronaldo & Co. saw off Sven Goran-Eriksson’s men from the penalty spot at the last-eight stage once more.
And by 2008 the Golden Generation had almost completely broken up as Steve McClaren’s disastrous reign meant the Three Lions missed the 2008 European Championships in Austria and Switzerland.
We asked our friends at Football Whispers to look at what happened to England’s Golden Generation and what they are doing now.
Paul Robinson: 42 caps, 2003-2007
The former Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United goalkeeper is one of few still playing.
The 37-year-old is currently on the books at Premier League surprise package Burnley where he is backup to England international Tom Heaton.
He has made three appearances for the Clarets since January 2016.
Robinson’s international career is best remembered for his error in the Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia which saw a backpass slip under his boot and into the net.
He retained his place between the sticks until 2007 when he was dropped following an error against Russia in a qualifying match.
Gary Neville: 85 caps, 1995-2007
A mainstay of several England sides during a 12-year international career, Neville is currently Sky Sports’ main pundit and a co-commentator.
The former Manchester United defender moved straight into the media upon retirement and established himself as one of the foremost authorities on the game.
He was part of Roy Hodgson’s England coach staff between 2012 and 2016, walking away after last summer’s embarrassing defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016.
His only managerial role since retiring was a short-lived and unsuccessful stint as Valencia boss between 2015 and 2016.
Along with the rest of the Class of 92, Neville is a part-owner of National League North side Salford City.
John Terry: 72 caps (6 goals), 2003-2012
Twice given the England captaincy, Terry’s international career was littered with controversies before his retirement after the 2012 European Championships.
He was stripped of the armband in 2010 by Fabio Capello after allegations about his personal life.
After being reinstated in March 2011, he was removed by the FA less than a year later with a pending court case for racial abuse aimed at Anton Ferdinand – a decision which saw Capello resign.
Terry announced his decision to leave Chelsea at the end of the current campaign on Monday following 22 years, more than 700 appearances and 16 major honours.
Rio Ferdinand: 81 caps (3 goals), 1997-2011
A mainstay for Manchester United and England for more than a decade, Ferdinand retired from football in a single, frustrating, year at Queens Park Rangers working under his former West Ham boss Harry Redknapp.
On the international front Ferdinand called time on his Three Lions career in 2013 after falling out of favour under the Hodgson.
He was left out of the 2012 European Championships squad with Terry preferred despite an ongoing court case for racial abuse against Ferdinand’s younger brother, Anton.
Ashley Cole: 107 caps, 2001-2014
Mr Consistent for England, Arsenal and Chelsea, Cole was the Three Lions’ number three for 13 years before calling it quits when he was left out of Hodgson’s squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
After eight trophy-laden seasons with Chelsea, Cole left Stamford Bridge in 2014 and joined Roma on a two-year deal.
But he struggled to make an impact and left in January 2016 to join MLS side LA Galaxy where he still plays.
David Beckham: 115 caps (17 goals), 1996-2009
The most famous member of the Golden Generation, Beckham is third behind Wayne Rooney (119) and Peter Shilton (125) for England caps and spent six years as England captain before resigning after the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Beckham’s career wound down in MLS with LA Galaxy after leaving Real Madrid in 2007.
However, he returned to European football to take in two loan spells with AC Milan and a brief stay at Paris Saint-Germain before retiring in 2013.
He has since dedicated his time to charitable work and his commercial interests.
He has also spent time trying to get an MLS expansion team off the ground in Miami – part of the deal which took him to the USA. Beckham is already a part-owner of non-league side Salford City.
Frank Lampard: 106 caps (29 goals), 1999-2014
Chelsea’s all-time top scorer left Stamford Bridge in 2014. But Lampard controversially remained in the Premier League despite announcing he had joined MLS expansion franchise New York City.
He instead signed for Manchester City for a season before moving stateside.
Lampard retired from the game in February this year, three years after walking away from international football following the disappointment of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where England exited at the group stage.
Steven Gerrard: 114 caps (21 goals), 2000-2014
A year after Frank Lampard made his England debut Gerrard followed. And so began a decade of debate over whether the two could play together for the Three Lions.
Liverpool skipper for more than ten years, Gerrard was another to move to MLS after his Premier League career wound down in 2015.
His time with LA Galaxy was not the success he might have hoped and he spent just two seasons in California before retiring in November 2016.
He was interviewed for the manager’s job at MK Dons but decided not to take the role. Earlier this year he returned to Liverpool in a coaching capacity and works within the Reds’ academy.
Paul Scholes: 66 caps (14 goals), 1997-2004
One of the most gifted English midfielders ever, Scholes called time on his international career after being forced to play on the left-hand side of Sven Goran-Eriksson’s 4-4-2 diamond system at the 2004 European Championships in Portugal.
The diminutive former Manchester United midfielder retired for the first time in 2011 and joined the coaching staff at Old Trafford.
But in January 2012 he made a shock return to the playing staff for the remainder of the 2011/12 campaign before signing for another year.
He retired for good in 2013 and is another of the joint-owners of Salford City.
Wayne Rooney: 119 caps (53 goals), 2003-present
One of just three members of this side still playing, Rooney is England’s leading goalscorer and has Peter Shilton’s long-standing caps record in sight.
However, the Manchester United forward has fallen out of favour for club and country this season and looks set to fall short.
His last England cap came in the 3-0 win over Scotland in November and he has not featured for Gareth Southgate since.
The 31-year-old seems certain to leave Old Trafford – where he is also the club’s leading scorer – this summer as his career winds down.
A move to China, MLS or Everton has been mooted for the United skipper who has scored just twice in nine league starts this season.
Michael Owen: 89 caps (40 goals), 1998-2008
For so long Owen looked set to become England’s all-time leading goalscorer.
But the former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker’s injury problems caught up with him and his international career ground to a halt under in 2008.
After a wretched four-year stay at Newcastle United ended in 2009, Owen joined Manchester United on a free transfer and stayed at Old Trafford for three seasons but was never a regular.
His final season was spent with Stoke City for whom he scored once in eight outings before retiring in 2013.