One bit of news which will have got a few Chelsea fans misty-eyed recently was the confirmation that Stamford Bridge legend Frank Lampard had decided to hang up his boots at the age of 38.
Here we take a look at some of the key moments that the Chelsea and England star will be remembered for.
Chelsea Record Goalscorer
Lampard was of course renowned for his phenomenal goalscoring record from midfield, with a double over Aston Villa in May 2013 making him Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer and breaking a 47-year-old record in the process.
The man he replaced as the club’s greatest goal machine, Bobby Tambling, described Lampard as “probably the best player Chelsea have ever had”.
Winning The Title
Considering the fantastic season they are currently having, Chelsea fans probably don’t mind that recent research by Voucherbox revealed they actually pay more on average to watch their team at home than away. The analysis revealed that the overall cost of tickets and travel to Stamford Bridge tended to be around £200 more than the equivalent cost of heading to other grounds.
While many probably do not regard the cost as an issue when it comes to watching top class football, it is worth remembering that Chelsea were not always so imperious. The club actually only secured their first title for around 50 years in 2005 and, of course, Lampard was integral to the run with a host of goals.
He also scored both goals in the crucial win at Bolton Wanderers which ensured they would finish the season as champions.
Champions League winner
While a Champions League final against Manchester United in Moscow in 2008 would end in a painful defeat by penalties, Lampard and Chelsea finally achieved European football glory in 2012 with a shock win over favourites Bayern Munich.
Playing at Bayern’s very own Allianz Arena, Chelsea were outclassed for much of the game but a dramatic late equaliser by Didier Drogba took the game into extra time. Penalties followed and Chelsea emerged victorious.
World Cup Ghost Goal
He will undoubtedly be remembered for a number of the goals he did score, but many will never forget one he didn’t. A Frank Lampard shot hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced over the line in a 2010 World Cup clash with Germany – and was never given.
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter said the incident was one of the key influences behind the introduction of goal-line technology.
Move to Man City
It was a surprise to many in 2014 when Lampard confirmed he was to leave Chelsea in search of first-team football. Indeed, eyebrows were raised even further when he spent another year in English football at Manchester City.
There was the inevitable twist in the tail too, with his first goal for City coming – of course – in a game against Chelsea. Lampard tucked away an equaliser in the Premier League clash and was visibly distraught after scoring the goal against his former club.
A True Great
With Lampard’s retirement following so closely after Steven Gerrard’s own decision to hang up his boots, it is clear that a certain generation of England footballers are now calling time on their careers.
As with Gerrard, while Lampard’s England career never hit the heights of his club success, many football fans will always rightly recognise him as one of the best players this country has produced.