Frank Lampard is a hero to Chelsea fans
In his 12 years at Stamford Bridge since signing from West Ham in 2001, Frank Lampard has scored a bucket load of goals, won enough silverware to fill his own personal Aladdin’s Cave and became a hero to millions of Chelsea fans around the globe.
No wonder he’s known as "Super Frankie Lampard."
Yet, incredibly, the club appear unwilling to extend his current contract, which runs out at the end of the season. If he does leave, Lampard will be virtually impossible to replace, such has been his impact at the Bridge over the last decade. Wherever he finally ends up, however, he will have some brilliant memories to reflect on from his time with the Blues.
In the following slideshow we celebrate Lamps’ Chelsea career by looking back at some of his finest moments in a blue shirt. Who knows, there may even be one or two more to add to this list before the season is over …
Lampard's performances in 2003-04 saw him voted Chelsea Player of the Year
It’s hard to recall now, but Frank Lampard was not an instant success after he moved to Chelsea from West Ham in the summer of 2001.
Following a mediocre first season at the Bridge, some fans were wondering if the young midfielder was worth the £11 million the Blues had paid for his services, but a much more impressive campaign in 2002-03 silenced the doubters.
Further rapid improvement in 2003-04, a season in which the Blues finished second in the Premier League and reached the semifinals of the Champions League, saw him voted Chelsea’s Player of the Year for the first time.
Lampard also topped the poll in 2005 and 2009 to become the first Chelsea player to win the award three times.
Lampard celebrates his goal against Liverpool in the 2008 Champions League semifinal
A week after the death of his mother, Lampard lined up for Chelsea in the second leg of the Champions League semifinal against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
With the score tied at 1-1 on the night, and 2-2 on aggregate, the Blues were awarded a penalty. Many fans wondered whether Lamps would take the spot-kick, but he stepped up as usual and confidently drilled his shot past Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
An emotional celebration followed, as Lampard raised both his arms to the night sky in a clear tribute to his much-loved mum.
After Didier Drogba added a killer third goal, Chelsea went on to reach the final against Manchester United in Moscow—where, despite another vital Lampard strike, the Blues were eventually beaten on penalties.
Lampard in action against Liverpool during the 2005 League Cup final
In Frank Lampard’s first season at Stamford Bridge, he helped the Blues reach the FA Cup Final, but he had to settle for a loser’s medal after Chelsea were beaten by Arsenal at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
There were further near misses in the Premier League and Champions League in 2004 before Lamps got his hands on his first trophy—the League Cup in 2005.
In an exciting final in Cardiff, the Blues trailed Liverpool for a long time before a Steven Gerrard own goal leveled the scores. With Lampard getting the better of his England midfield partner in extra time, the Londoners took a stranglehold on the game and eventually won the match 3-2.
For Lampard, it would be the first trophy of many during his illustrious Chelsea career.
Frank Lampard and John Terry cleaned up the individual honours in 2005
Chelsea players cleaned up the individual honours at the end of the 2004/05 season, John Terry topping the PFA poll and Frank Lampard picking up the Football Writers’ Association award.
For Lampard, it was recognition of his key contribution to Chelsea’s Premier League title success. The midfielder had enjoyed his best season yet with the Blues, scoring 19 goals and making numerous assists for the likes of Didier Drogba, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Arjen Robben.
Lampard had finished runner-up to Arsenal’s Patrick Vieira in the FWA poll a year earlier, so his award was another indication that footballing power in the capital was rapidly moving from north to west London.
Lampard celebrates his 200th Chelsea goal against his old club West Ham earlier this month
In what looks like being his final season at Stamford Bridge, Frank Lampard became only the second Chelsea player ever to score 200 goals for the club when he netted against his old club West Ham earlier this month.
It was, in many ways, a typical Lamps goal. Taking up a centre-forward position on the edge of the six-yard box, he got on the end of an Eden Hazard chip to power a header past Jussi Jaaskelainen in the Hammers’ goal. In the past few seasons, Lampard’s aerial ability has come in leaps and bounds, so it was perhaps apt that he should score the milestone goal with a header.
Now Lamps stands just two behind longstanding Bobby Tambling’s all-time club goalscoring record. Given that he has scored roughly one goal every three games for the Blues, he should have more than enough time left to set a new benchmark by the end of the season.
Lampard shows off the FA Cup in 2007 with Chelsea skipper John Terry
With defences very much on top and a slow Wembley pitch inhibiting fast, attractive football, the 2007 FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United appeared to be heading inexorably toward a penalty shoot-out.
Then, with just five minutes left of extra time, Didier Drogba flicked a pass to Frank Lampard on the edge of the United box. Anticipating Drogba’s forward movement, Lamps played a first-time volleyed pass behind the United defenders and into the path of the onrushing Ivorian. Reaching the ball just before Edwin Van Der Sar, Drogba nudged the ball past the United goalkeeper and into the net for the winning goal.
And so Chelsea became the first club to win the FA Cup at the new Wembley. Drogba may have claimed the vital strike that gave the Blues an historic victory, but without Lampard’s quick thinking and consummate technical skill the outcome may have been very different.
Frank Lampard (far right) and teammates celebrate winning the Double in 2010
Frank Lampard enjoyed his most prolific season with Chelsea in 2009/10, scoring a total of 27 goals, including 22 in the Premier League.
His brilliant form helped Chelsea win the Premier League for the first time in four years, the Blues finishing just one point clear of reigning champs Manchester United. A week after the title was wrapped up with an 8-0 mauling of Wigan Athletic at the Bridge, Lampard and his teammates took on Portsmouth in the FA Cup Final at Wembley.
Chelsea were overwhelming favourites against relegated Pompey but survived a huge scare in the second half when Petr Cech saved Kevin-Prince Boateng’s penalty. Didier Drogba then put the Blues ahead with a well-struck free-kick and although Lampard uncharacteristically missed a penalty late on, Chelsea held on to win their first league and cup "Double."
Lamps celebrates his winning goal in the 2009 FA Cup Final
The 2009 FA Cup Final was arguably the most exciting seen yet at the new Wembley.
Chelsea, under caretaker manager Guus Hiddink, were huge favourites to win the trophy but fell behind to Everton inside the first minute when Louis Saha struck a fierce shot past Petr Cech.
Didier Drogba equalised with a trademark header midway through the first half, but the teams were still level 20 minutes from the end when Frank Lampard received the ball on the edge of the Everton penalty area. Turning past Phil Neville, he hit a well-placed shot with his less favoured left foot, which beat Tim Howard’s dive before nestling in the back of the net.
Lampard celebrated his goal, which proved to be the winner, by running round a corner flag, replicating a famous celebration by his father after he scored in the 1980 FA Cup semifinal for West Ham.
It was a fitting tribute to Lampard senior, who has been a huge support throughout young Frank’s career and still travels the country watching his son in action.
At last! Lamps shows off the Champions League trophy
Chelsea were in the unusual position of being underdogs for the 2012 Champions League Final, but it wasn’t difficult to see why.
Their opponents, Bayern Munich, had the huge advantage of playing the match on their home ground, while the Blues were hampered by suspensions to four key players. Among the missing quartet was skipper John Terry, so Frank Lampard stepped up to take the captain’s armband, as he had done for the Blues on many previous occasions.
As many predicted, Chelsea were on the back foot for much of the match but managed to keep Bayern at bay until Thomas Muller scored in the 83rd minute. The Blues hit back, though, through a magnificent Didier Drogba header to take the game into extra time.
With the additional 30 minutes producing no further goals, the final was decided in penalties. Chelsea fell behind when Juan Mata saw his shot saved, making it vital that Lampard score with his spot-kick. He made no mistake, smashing his shot past Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, paving the way for the Blues to win the shoot-out after Petr Cech made two brilliant saves.
So, after numerous near misses in previous years, Lamps finally got his hands on the Champions League trophy when, along with John Terry, he led his teammates up the steps to collect the cup from UEFA President Michel Platini.
Frank Lampard celebrates scoring at Bolton in 2005
Needing to win at Bolton in April 2005 to secure their first ever Premier League title, Chelsea put in a disappointingly lacklustre first-half display at the Reebok Stadium and were fortunate to go into the break all square.
It was a different story in the second half, though, as the Blues began to dominate, and it was no surprise when Frank Lampard gave the visitors the lead with a low drive on the hour. Fifteen minutes later the title was in the bag as Lamps latched onto a pass from midfield destroyer Claude Makelele, surged forward with aplomb and then rounded Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to score with ease.
It was fitting that Lampard should secure the title for Chelsea. He was the club’s best player throughout the campaign, and also the leading scorer on the team.
Lampard’s stellar contribution to his club’s cause was recognised by his peers around the globe when he was voted runner-up to Ronaldinho in both the European Player of the Year and World Player of the Year awards in 2005.