West Ham star Declan Rice was apparently “broken-hearted” and cried when he failed to make it in Chelsea’s academy earlier in his career.
This is according to the player’s father, who claimed John Terry talked with the midfielder for 45 minutes on the phone following the rejection by Chelsea.
“It was horrendous,” Rice’s dad told The Telegraph.
“It was a Tuesday and we were all told we’d get a phone call between 3pm and 5pm. I was at work in my office and as the minutes ticked by I was getting calls from other parents to say ‘we’re in’.
“I stayed behind at the office to wait for the call which didn’t come until about 7pm. When it did, they just said unfortunately Declan had not met the required standard, but that he would be welcome to keep training at Chelsea while he looked for another club.
“I remember that drive home just thinking ‘what am I going to say to him?’ I walked in and Declan was sitting on the stairs and I just shook my head, and he bolted up to his bedroom.
“He was broken-hearted, crying. I always remember saying: ‘There’s 91 other clubs out there’. John Terry, who was Chelsea captain then, got his number and spent 45 minutes on the phone with him, which meant a lot.
“We kept him off school the next day because he was upset and the next night was training at Chelsea. Declan was adamant he wanted to go, so we were in the car on the A3 when the phone rang and I answered it on hands free. It was Fulham asking if he wanted to go and train, so we turned the car around and he went there.”