Micah Richards has reflected on how John Terry move to Aston Villa inadvertently ended his career.
Richards made 245 appearances for Manchester City after breaking into the first team as a highly-promising young defender, while he also won 13 England caps and represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.
After a loan spell at Fiorentina, he moved to Villa on a free transfer in 2015 but struggled for fitness and gametime as they were relegated from the Premier League in 2015-16.
He made just two league appearances the following campaign, but by 2017-18, Steve Bruce was at the helm and Richards was fit and raring to go.
That same summer Villa signed legendary Chelsea defender Terry upon his departure from Stamford Bridge, with the former England captain going onto spend the final season of his playing career at Villa Park. However, this had consequences for Richards.
‘He (Bruce) did tell me he was going to play me (that season),’ he told BBC’s MOTD Top 10 podcast.
‘And we signed John Terry. So, it was going to be me on the right of the three, John Terry and James Chester.
‘JT basically came to Villa and said “I’m not playing in a three”. So Bruce pulls me and he says “well, I’ve got to play JT” and he had James Chester at Hull so I knew the writing was on the wall then.’
Richards failed to make an appearance that season, with Bruce citing fitness issues at the time.
He also failed to play the following campaign due to an ongoing knee problem before he announced his retirement in July 2019 at the age of 31.
Bruce was sacked in October 2018, but Richards insisted he held no grudges against the 62-year-old, although he also recalled a hilarious story involving his former manager’s daughter.
He added: ‘I love him as a guy, but he sucked me right in though he did. Do you know what he did?
‘So I moved to Harrogate and his daughter is an interior designer. So, he goes “oh yeah we’re all friends now”. And I know his son Alex but he sucked me right in.
‘I spent about £400,000 on interior design and he still didn’t play me.’