"But my manager said he needed me so I just played".
Villa also had a penalty appeal turned down but Grealish was lucky to escape a red card with a reckless tackle on Cairney.
The decisive blow came midway through the first half as Fulham offered a glimpse of the football that has earned so many plaudits this term, with 18-year-old Ryan Sessegnon superbly threading through Cairney to fire home.
In subsequent dialogue with the Premier League, Aston Villa insisted that Bruce's comment was made in jest and denied any suggestion that a clause exempting Terry from facing Chelsea would be put into any extension that he might sign.
The winger is an elegant and languid play maker in the mould of Jack Grealish, and the combination of the two could get fans very excited for next season.
Below, we want you to remember (or, more likely guess) every team to have been promoted via the Championship playoff final since 1992/93.
Aston Villa can bounce back under Steve Bruce (Nigel French/PA).
Fulham prevailed, recording a 1-0 win that means they will be in the Premier League next season.
After the break, Fulham continued where they left off and Stefan Johansen got on the ball on the edge of the area but fired wide.
In what was Fulham's first Wembley appearance in 43 years, supporters of the London club duly toasted the goal as if it was a game clincher, yet Villa have warning that they would not surrender without a fight as they battled back in the final 10 minutes of the first half.
Another blank in front of goal, Grabban has now gone seven Championship play-off games without scoring including runs to the final in 2015 with Norwich City and last season at Reading.
Denis Odoi's sending off 20 minutes from time led to a jittery end for Slavisa Jokanovic's team, but they dug deep to secure the biggest financial prize in world football on a day to cherish.
Cairney completed 93% of his passing against Villa on Saturday, a better accuracy that any other Fulham player and the second best on the pitch behind Hourihane of those who started (97%).