John Terry is many things to many people: to Chelsea fans everywhere he is a legend, while to supporters of other teams, he has long been the target of unremitting vitriol.
The reason he gets more grief than most is for a number of reasons, ranging from the fact that he is one of the most decorated players in recent years, to his tabloid-fuelled reputation as one of the game’s more ‘colourful’ characters.
He has been involved in some of the most explosive and damaging episodes – both on and off the pitch – to have rocked football in the past decade.
But he has ignored most of the flack and seems to be enjoying life – who wouldn’t after more than 10 years of receiving both a superstar’s salary and the adulation of his home support? – and he isn’t finished yet, after securing a lucrative move to Aston Villa earlier this summer.
Last week, however, he was back in the headlines – not for his performances on the field of play, but the fact that he had been held up as an example, one from whom many can learn.
I would suggest that there aren’t many things which we can learn from Terry, but it appears he has become something of a poster boy for daft posters – the ones who chronicle their lives on social media.
We have now learned that Terry’s fondness for sharing his life to his legions of followers proved to be a very costly habit indeed – £400,000 to be precise.
That was how much swag and bling a gang of burglars made off with after Terry posted on Instagram that he and his family were having a fabulous time on holiday.
Knowing that the coast was relatively clear – there was the not-so-small matter of dirty great big gates and a security system for them to contend with – the prolific criminals smashed their way into Terry Towers and proceeded to make off with as much loot as they could.
Justice has caught up with the gang members, who received lengthy jail terms, but we should all take notice of this very modern day tale of openness.
We are now at the time of year when social media timelines are filled with smug posts from people attempting to depict their sunburnt legs as a pair of unappetising hot dogs or recounting ‘hilarious’ tales of how pina coladas were consumed at breakfast.
We honestly don’t know who is taking notice. I am indeed guilty of previously showing off about my trips away, however Mrs Tapp doesn’t own a £42,000 Hermes handbag and if she did she would sleep with it under the pillow, wherever she went. Unlike Mrs Terry.
I have thought long and hard about this and have resolved to resist boasting about my holidays, at least until I have returned.
It seems the urge to show off about lives, irrespective of how boring they really are, outweighs most other concerns for many people.
People will often cite security as a pressing priority and will spend thousands of pounds on making their homes and their families safe. But it is no good ensuring that the lights come on when you are away when you have already told the bad guys that your home is empty.
This recently-found obsession with broadcasting our lives is one of the most reckless aspects of modern life. Just ask John Terry.