To the utter dismay of Chelsea football fans around the world, Frank Lampard has announced his retirement from football. While we can cry that the footballer’s influence as a midfielder is over, it’s better to smile about the many glorious goals that he produced for his club and country. To pay tribute to the man, we look at five snapshots of his life from his autobiography Totally Frank.
He was taught football from a young age
“Mum insists that I was holding and kicking a ball as soon as I was able to but Dad was busy making sure that I was going in the right direction. He played in the garden with me, teaching me how to kick properly, and encouraged me to be more confident,” Lampard, son of Frank Lampard Sr. (a West Ham and England player) revealed in his autobiography.
He was bright academically
“As far as the academic side went, I studied pretty hard while I was there. I was no fool and I guess the desire to succeed came across in class as well. I got ten GCSEs – an A+ in Latin, three As, five Bs and one C – grades I needed to go on and study for my levels,” Lampard wrote in his autobiography.
He played cricket as a kid
“At 14 I was playing in the first XI at cricket a year before I was at football which made it appear that I was at better at cricket than I was at football but that wasn’t true. Maybe the cricket team wasn’t quite so good. I was a very stubborn little batsmen. I wasn’t strong enough to whack it everywhere but I was dogged. I would just block what I couldn’t hit far and stay in as long as I could – the Geoffrey Boycott type,” the former Chelsea midfielder revealed in his book.
He had the most fun playing for the West Ham youth team
“After years of eating, drinking, and sleeping football I was also being paid to do it. It was the best feeling I could imagine. First year youth is about as much fun as football gets. You have your own little community of team-mates and you are still way under the surface of the cut-throat world of the first team and making it as a real professional,” Lampard wrote in his autobiography.
His affair with West Ham didn’t have a happy ending
“West Ham continue to provoke very strong feelings in me. Sometimes – for instance when I go back to play there with Chelsea – the bile that spills out against me from the stands at Upton Park has a resonance which incites an anger and resentment which I tried to leave behind when I left the club,” the former West Ham midfielder wrote in his autobiography.