Former England captain John Terry has announced his retirement from internatonal football, less than 24 hours before a Football Association hearing into his alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand.
Terry, 31, has endured a tumultuous career with the Three Lions in recent years, having twice been stripped of the captaincy by the FA.
He first lost the armband in 2010 in the wake of allegations that he had an affair with the girlfriend of former Chelsea and England eam-mate Wayne Bridge, before being deposed again this February after it was revealed he would stand trial for alleged abuse of QPR defender Ferdinand during a Premier League game.
Terry was cleared of any wrongdoing with regards to Ferdinand at Westminster Magistrates' Court in July but with the FA continuing to pursue the matter, and a hearing set to begin on Monday, the Chelsea skipper has chosen to quit international football.
"I am today announcing my retirement from international football," Terry said. "I would like to thank the England managers who have selected me for my 78 caps. I have had great pleasure in sharing that honour with all the players that I've played with.
"I would like to thank them, the fans and my family for their support and encouragement during my international career. Representing and captaining my country is what I dreamed of as a boy and it has been a truly great honour.
"I have always given my all and it breaks my heart to make this decision. I want to wish Roy [Hodgson] and the team every success for the future.
"I am making this statement today in advance of the hearing of the FA disciplinary charge because I feel the FA, in pursuing charges against me where I have already been cleared in a court of law, have made my position with the national team untenable.
"I now look forward to playing for Chelsea FC, and challenging for domestic and European honours, and I want to thank the fans and the club for their continued support.''
A statement from Chelsea, for whom Terry has spent his entire professional career, said: "This was a personal and difficult decision for John to take as playing for and captaining his country was a boyhood dream."