ACCOLADES POUR IN AS ENGLAND AND CHELSEA LEGEND FRANK LAMPARD HANGS HIS BOOTS

Frank Lampard has announced his retirement from professional football at the end of a glittering career which lasted more than two decades.

The Chelsea legend, who won every major club honour during his time at Stamford Bridge, has called time on his career after considering his options after leaving New York City at the end of the last MLS season.

Lampard, now 38, announced his retirement on Instagram where he posted a lengthy message thanking those who had played a part in a career which also saw him win 106 caps for England.

He revealed he received a number of offers to continue his 21-year career both in England and abroad, but insisted now is the time to bring his career to a close.

He wrote: ‘After 21 incredible years, I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer.

‘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’s final trophy before departing Chelsea was the Europa League, won in 2012-13

LAMPARD’S CAREER

1995-2001: West Ham – 187 games/39 goals

1995-96: Swansea (loan) – 11 games/1 goal

2001-2014: Chelsea – 649games/211 goals

2014-15: Man City – 38 games /8 goals

2015-16: New York City – 19 games/12 goals

1999-2014: England – 106 caps/29 goals

TOTAL: 1010 games/300 goals
LAMPARD’S HONOURS

Chelsea

Premier League x3: 2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10

FA Cup x4: 2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2012

League Cup x2: 2004-05, 2006-07

Community Shield x2: 2005, 2009

Champions League: 2011-12

Europa League: 2012-13

West Ham

Intertoto Cup: 1999

Lampard thanked his family, including wife Christine who wrote of her pride on Instagram alongside a picture of her husband, as well as the clubs he played for during his career which began at West Ham in the mid-ninties.

He insisted Chelsea, where he won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a Champions League over a 13-year period, will always hold the biggest place in his heart before also paying tribute to Manchester City and New York City.

‘I have many people to thank. 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,’ he wrote.

‘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 NYCFC. 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, 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 teammates 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.’

Lampard ended his time at Chelsea as the club’s all-time record scorer with 211 goals, while also becoming the club’s most internationally capped player and breaking the club’s consecutive league appearance record thanks to his run of 164-straight games.

In total he played 1010 professional matches, scoring exactly 300 goals for his clubs and at international level.

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