Chelsea ladies vice-captain Gilly Flaherty thanks John Terry for unwavering support

Gilly Flaherty has praised John Terry for his support. Credit: PA

Chelsea Ladies had seen their budget cut in 2009 and looked set for difficult times ahead until Terry, having heard of their predicament, approached the team's then captain Casey Stoney with the offer of assistance.

It came in the form of unexpected funding from the ocean-deep Premier League pockets of men's first-team captain Terry and a number of his fellow players.

Terry became and to this day remains club president of Chelsea Ladies, who play Notts County on Saturday in the first SSE Women's FA Cup final to be staged at Wembley.

Success has not come quickly for Chelsea Ladies since Terry and team-mates rode to their rescue, but the club are again investing heavily on the women's side.

Slowly, surely, the faith of the man who along with Jose Mourinho and Roman Abramovich embodies modern-day Chelsea is being rewarded.

Chelsea Ladies vice-captain Gilly Flaherty was an Arsenal player when the financial intervention came from Terry.

"He got hold of some money and saved the women's team," Flaherty said.

"Since then we've had pre-season friendlies at Cobham and he comes down to watch."

The former England skipper's celebration in full kit after missing Chelsea's 2012 Champions League triumph through suspension was widely lampooned. His image has been superimposed on pictures ever since, from sporting successes to Barack Obama's election-night success and the famous Oscars selfie taken by Ellen DeGeneres.

Chelsea Ladies are simply proud of, and inspired by, their one-time benefactor.

"He's our president and if you want players from the men's team to recognise us and appreciate what we do, I believe we have to be successful," Flaherty said.