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Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill played his last game for Chelsea and at Stamford Bridge, in the 3-0 win over Watford at the Bridge on Sunday.
Cahill was brought on for his first Premier League action since September and was handed the captain’s band by Cesar Azpilicueta as he was introduced for the last few minutes of the game against Watford, with the scores already at 3-0.
When the match ended, Cahill was honoured by his team-mates as they lofted him high to the cheers of the fans who sang ‘He’s won it all’.
The 33-year-old was given the opportunity to write for the final time in Chelsea’s matchday programme for Thursday night’s fixture between Chelsea and Eintracht Frankfurt, as the programme carried a captain’s column.
Cahill wrote: “It was nice to be able to say a proper goodbye to the club and the supporters on Sunday, and a proper thank you as well.
“It was a great occasion at the end of the game, I really enjoyed it, my family was there too and it was special, off the back of a good result.
“I heard the fans singing while I was warming up and that was a nice feeling. I’ve spent a lot of years here, I’ve had many, many, many good times and I’ve got great memories. This is a club I will never forget – the things I’ve achieved here and the friends I’ve made – it has been a massive part of my football career and my life.
“Looking back at when I signed, I was just so excited to come to a big club and play at this level of the game. I look back now, thinking, “Why was I not more nervous in that Champions League run?” It was just pure excitement.
“It was an incredible thing to be part of a team that made history in my first six months here, winning the Champions League in 2012. I’d wanted to be involved in that competition, and it was something very special. We all know how big it is, and how hard it is to win, so that stands out as a memory.
“A very close second are the times I won the league. I’ve played in the Premier League for many years and I’d grown up watching it as a football fan, so I know how hard it is to get good results week in, week out. I had to play for a few years before I even got the move to a club that had a chance of winning it and to get over all those hurdles and get my hands on the trophy makes it very special indeed.
“The consistency we showed to get to the end goal and win the title – in both 2014/15 and 2016/17 – was not easy, so those successes meant a lot to me. Lifting the Premier League trophy alongside John Terry (below) in 2017 was a great moment.
“Once you win a major trophy, you just want more and more and that’s what this club does to you. We have a winning mentality here and I definitely bought into that.
“Looking back over my time here, it’s just memory after memory. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster, but we’ve had more good times than bad – that’s for sure. I look at my time here as a total success and I’m thankful to the club for giving me that opportunity and the platform to perform at the top level. I think we’ve been good for each other and I really enjoyed my time here.
“Thank you all for your support, I am truly grateful. I’ll never forget it.”