John Terry was substituted after 26 minutes of his final Chelsea appearance – the number he has worn on his shirt for 17 years.
The teary-eyed club legend was given a guard of honour by his team-mates as he made his way to the sidelines at Stamford Bridge for one final time.
Terry, 36, is leaving Chelsea and was initially expected to extend his playing career, yet it is unknown where he is going to be featuring next season. Retirement also remains at option for Terry.
He departed the pitch before returning to lift the Premier League trophy and make a passionate goodbye speech to the jam-packed stadium.
Chelsea fans sang “he’s won it all” as he walked off the pitch to a standing ovation before being replaced by Gary Cahill.
While the substitution was set to take place in the 26th minute, it was actually the 28th minute by the time that he crossed the line and the replacement was officially recorded.
The former England captain appeared to get emotional as he trudged to the sideline and gave manager Antonio Conte a big hug as soon as he got to the bench.
Terry did, however, return to the pitch later in the afternoon to lift the Premier League trophy.
And the festivities continued from there onwards, with Terry addressing the crowd before breaking down into tears.
Speaking on the PA system, Terry said: “Today is without doubt one of the most difficult days of my life. I have been very fortunate to work with some great players and managers over the years. I am so thankful to all of them. I also want to thank Roman Abramovich.
“For me he is the best owner in world football. He loves this club all the way through and wants to help us improve every year to give us the best opportunity. On behalf of everyone thank you very much.
“I want to thank my wife and my kids for supporting me on this amazing journey I have had.
“I want to thank the fans who are the best supporters in the world. You have given me everything and picked me up when I have been down and disappointed you.
“Thank you will never be enough and I will come back here one day. I will be supporting the team for years to come.”
On the pitch, Chelsea secured a routine 5-1 victory.
Javier Manquillo gave Sunderland a shock lead in just the third minute of the match.
But normality was restored just five minutes later as Willian levelled the score.
Eden Hazard gave Chelsea the lead 16 minutes into the second half, before a Michy Batshuayi double was sandwiched between Pedro and Cesc Fabregas strikes to seal a 5-1 lead before the trophy presentation.