David Moyes says that Sunderland agreed to John Terry’s ovation in the 26th minute of his side’s 5-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Terry, making his final appearance at Stamford Bridge, started the game but was replaced by Gary Cahill.
26 has been his shirt number throughout a glittering career for this season’s champions.
His Chelsea team-mates then formed a guard of honour as he left the pitch, delaying the game for a number of minutes as he received a standing ovation from the stands.
It was a carnival atmosphere at Stamford Bridge as the supporters hailed not just John Terry but also manager Antonio Conte and owner Roman Abramovich.
Black Cats boss Moyes said he felt Terry deserved a send-off, Jordan Pickford kicking the ball out of play to allow it to happen.
He said: “I think John Terry, in his own way, deserves a great send off. He got that today. We knew it was coming, and we agreed to put the ball out. It was Diego Costa that actually asked Jordan to kick the ball out. We actually did it about 15 second too early, but we knew it was happening.”
The decision has sparked a fierce backlash from Sunderland fans as the Black Cats fell to another heavy defeat.
Chelsea had initially looked to have lost much of their momentum in the game after Terry’s substitution, previously dominant and creating a host of chances but surprisingly pedestrian in the aftermath.
They ran amok in the closing stages of the game, however, as Michy Batshuayi scored a late brace to add gloss to the scoreline for the Champions.
Sunderland’s resistance had been all but ended in the 77th minute after Joleon Lescott, making his full Sunderland debut, headed a Fabregas long bal lover Jordan Pickford’s head, Pedro racing in to score.
Sunderland opened the scoring int he third minute but could only muster another two shots on target.