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Chelsea captain John Terry in row over pet shop appearance

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LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  John Terry of Chelsea argues with referee Chris Foy as he awards a penalty kick to Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: John Terry of Chelsea argues with referee Chris Foy as he awards a penalty kick to Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  John Terry of Chelsea grapples Tommy Smith of Queens Park Rangers to the ground during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: John Terry of Chelsea grapples Tommy Smith of Queens Park Rangers to the ground during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Paul Gilham

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  John Terry of Chelsea grapples Tommy Smith of Queens Park Rangers to the ground during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: John Terry of Chelsea grapples Tommy Smith of Queens Park Rangers to the ground during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Paul Gilham

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  John Terry of Chelsea argues with Tommy Smith of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: John Terry of Chelsea argues with Tommy Smith of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Paul Gilham

Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Patrick Kenny and Chelsea's John Terry (right) argue late in the game during the Barclays Premier League match at Loftus Road, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 23, 2011. See PA story SOCCER QPR. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Patrick Kenny and Chelsea's John Terry (right) argue late in the game during the Barclays Premier League match at Loftus Road, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 23, 2011. See PA story SOCCER QPR. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Nick Potts

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  John Terry of Chelsea argues with Paddy Kenny of Queens Park Rangers after the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: John Terry of Chelsea argues with Paddy Kenny of Queens Park Rangers after the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Referee Chris Foy sends off Didier Drogba of Chelsea after a foul on Adel Taarabt of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Referee Chris Foy sends off Didier Drogba of Chelsea after a foul on Adel Taarabt of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Paul Gilham

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Clint Hall of Queens Park Rangers beats Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea to the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Clint Hall of Queens Park Rangers beats Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea to the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Shaun Wright-Phillips of Queens Park Rangers is tackled by David Luiz and Jose Bosingwa of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Shaun Wright-Phillips of Queens Park Rangers is tackled by David Luiz and Jose Bosingwa of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Jose Bosingwa of Chelsea holds off the challenge by Shaun Wright-Phillips of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Jose Bosingwa of Chelsea holds off the challenge by Shaun Wright-Phillips of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Queens Park Rangers fans enjoy the atmosphere during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Queens Park Rangers fans enjoy the atmosphere during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Queens Park Rangers fans enjoy the atmosphere during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Queens Park Rangers fans enjoy the atmosphere during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Ashley Cole of Chelsea argues with Anton Ferdinand of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Ashley Cole of Chelsea argues with Anton Ferdinand of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Paul Gilham

Chelsea manager Andre Villas Boas

Chelsea manager Andre Villas Boas

Paul Gilham

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Chelsea manager Andre Villas Boas looks thoughtful ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Chelsea manager Andre Villas Boas looks thoughtful ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Lord Coe enjoys the atmosphere ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Lord Coe enjoys the atmosphere ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Adel Taarabt (L) and Joey Barton (R) of Queens Park Rangers celebrate with Heidar Helguson (C) after he scores from a penalty kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Adel Taarabt (L) and Joey Barton (R) of Queens Park Rangers celebrate with Heidar Helguson (C) after he scores from a penalty kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Chelsea assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo looks thoughtful ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Chelsea assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo looks thoughtful ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Referee Chris Foy sends off Didier Drogba of Chelsea after a foul on Adel Taarabt of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Referee Chris Foy sends off Didier Drogba of Chelsea after a foul on Adel Taarabt of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Paul Gilham

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Chelsea manager Andre Villas Boas directs his team during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Chelsea manager Andre Villas Boas directs his team during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Paul Gilham

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LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: John Terry of Chelsea argues with referee Chris Foy as he awards a penalty kick to Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The chance to meet John Terry must have seemed the perfect half-term treat for any Chelsea-loving youngster, and for their parents a good way to kill an hour.

Good enough to draw a crowd of around 250 to the opening of a reptile shop in a suburban street in Surbiton, Surrey. The queues were even longer than the annual line to collect Christmas turkeys from Jennings the butchers 50 yards down the road.



With the England captain due at 2pm the queues started to form by half-twelve, pushchairs and Chelsea shirts prominent. By 1.30pm police were there to help marshal the growing crowd and the café and pub opposite were doing a roaring trade. By 2.30pm people were getting restless. Then staff emerged from Reptile Kingdom, some in furry lizard costumes, with sweets to eat and snakes to hold. Of the England captain, however, there was no sign.

Eventually the fans left, but not without a parting shot. "He's the snake," said one angry mum, "I'm disgusted."



Katie Pugh, 17, said she was "devastated". She said she was chasing up a promise Terry had made to give her a shirt. Having failed to get his shirt when she had been a mascot at Stamford Bridge she said she met Terry again "a year and two days ago" at the Chelsea megastore in Kingston. She added: "I was in tears and he hugged me, took my address and promised to send me a shirt. But he didn't."



Pugh added: "He's in my bad books, but I'm still John Terry till I die. He's my life."



Cameron Mangan was less understanding. "He's Chelsea captain and he's let us down," said the 16-year-old. "He should be here."

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Terry later said in a statement: "I had not agreed to attend the opening of this or any other shop today. I had been asked if I would consider the opportunity and declined on two separate occasions. I very much regret any distress or disappointment that may have been suffered by the public."



The shop's co-owner Terrence Clark, who had advertised Terry's appearance for a fortnight, responded angrily. He told The Independent: "That's an absolute lie. It wasn't a publicity stunt. He had agreed to come. You saw everything I did today, bringing out the snakes and sweets and stuff for the kids because I felt so bad. He was supposed to be there but he didn't show."


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