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Thommo: Chelsea great Terry told Gerard - 'I'd love to play for Liverpool, Mr Houllier'

Liverpool hero Phil Thompson has revealed how close they were to signing former Chelsea captain John Terry.

Terry was an auspicious 22-year-old talent coming through Chelsea's ranks in 2003 when the then Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier formulated a plan to pinch him from their rivals.

Thompson, who was Houllier's assistant manager at Liverpool, told Paddy Power: "In the final game of the 2002/3 season, it was a shoot-out between Liverpool and Chelsea for the last Champions League place.

"This was just before Roman Abramovich came in. We'd heard Chelsea were in dire straits, and they weren't going to offer Frank Lampard or John Terry a contract.

"After the game, as Chelsea were doing a lap of honour, Gerard Houllier said to me that Terry was a bit of a player. I agreed, adding I didn't think they'd offered him a contract.

"So Houllier went and shook John Terry's hand and asked 'how would you like to play for Liverpool?' and John said: 'I'd love to, Mr Houllier'.

"After, we sent one of our coaches in to the players' lounge and asked John for his agent's phone number. John said: 'I'll do more than that, here's my personal telephone number, ask him to give us a call'.

"And a couple of weeks later, Abramovich took over, and his first dealings were signing Terry and Lampard to big contracts – so we were that far away from getting him."


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