Frank Lampard, the former West Ham, Chelsea, Manchester City and England midfielder has announced his retirement from football.
Lampard left New York City FC in November last year after his contract expired. He has now decided, at the age of 38, to hang up his boots. This, despite him receiving what he describes as “a number of exciting offers to continue playing at home and abroad”.
In a statement on his Facebook page, the 38-year-old said: “After 21 incredible years, I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer,” he wrote. “Whilst I have received a number of exciting offers to continue playing at home and abroad, at 38 I feel now is the time to begin the next chapter in my life. I’m immensely proud of the trophies I’ve won, of representing my country over 100 times and of scoring more than 300 career goals.”
Lampard began his career at West Ham where his father, Frank Lampard Senior, was a coach under the management of Harry Redknapp. In 2001 he moved across London to Chelsea where he spent the bulk of his career. Lampard is the club’s record goalscorer having joined the club in 2001. During his 13-year spell at at Stamford Bridge he won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League. Lampard scored 15 goals in 31 appearances for New York, in a two-year spell that was interrupted by a loan spell at Manchester City. He scored 29 goals in 106 international appearances for England.
“I have many people to thank,” Lampard added. “I thank my parents for instilling in me the values of hard work, dedication and professionalism, values which I have carried with me in everything that I do. I am forever grateful for the support of my family, my wife Christine and my two daughters Luna and Isla. What you have given me off the pitch has always been my strength on it. I love you all very much. Also, my friends and my own team that have always been there for me.
“I would like to thank the amazing team-mates, coaches, managers and backroom staff that I was privileged to work with. I’d also like to pay tribute to the clubs that I have represented. Firstly, West Ham United who gave me my debut in 1996. Thanks to the people there that believed in me at that young age. More recently Manchester City and New York City FC. I greatly enjoyed my last playing years at these two clubs and really appreciate the support I received from City Football Group and both clubs’ fans.
“Of course, the largest part of my heart belongs to Chelsea Football Club, a club which has given me so many great memories. I will never forget the opportunity they gave me and the success that we managed to achieve together. It is impossible to give thanks individually to all the people that helped and supported me in my 13 years playing there. All I can say is from the day I signed until now and going forward, I’m eternally grateful for everything and to everyone. Chelsea fans gave myself and my team-mates such incredible support. Their passion and hunger drove me on personally to give my best year after year. I couldn’t have done it without them.
“Looking forward, I’m grateful to the FA for the opportunity to study for my coaching qualifications and I look forward to pursuing the off-field opportunities that this decision opens.”