Rice, who can operate as a central defender or as a defensive midfielder, was released by Chelsea in 2014.
The 19-year-old moved to West Ham thereafter, and the Republic of Ireland international has now established himself as an important player in manager Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
The young defender has spoken highly of former Chelsea and Villa central defender Terry, who was appointed the assistant manager of the Villans in October.
Rice told The Times about Terry: “I based my whole game on John when I was younger. When I was released by Chelsea he called for 45 minutes and I remember I was sat in my room next to my dad.
“It was John Terry. I could not believe it. He handed over all his experience and advice. He said to never stop, always keep working hard and give everything you have. It stayed in my head and look where I am now.
“No dream is far away. I last met John for a two-hour breakfast with my cousin about six months ago. Sometimes I text him, like when he retired and he replied, ‘Thanks mate, it is your time now.’”
Progress at West Ham United
Rice - who earns £3000 per week as salary, according to The Times - has been progressing well at West Ham, and given that he is only 19 years of age, the teenager can only improve in the coming years.
While West Ham are unlikely to challenge for the top four or the top six of the Premier League this season, the London club can certainly end up in the top 10.