England’s Golden Generation is being dismantled one legend at a time, with Frank Lampard the latest to hang up his boots.
Rather than bore you with the entirety of his career we thought we’d simplify matters.
So, without further (Freddy) ado, here are the first and last moments from Lampard’s 21-year career.
First: Lampard’s first senior game of football came not for West Ham but for Swansea, during a loan spell in the third tier of English football, when posts were still square and dogs accompanied every other spectator.
Last: Super Frank probably didn’t imagine his career would end as it did- playing for New York City FC against Jozy Altidore at Toronto’s BMO Field. But football can be a cruel mistress sometimes.
First: Lampard opened his senior goalscoring account for Swansea, against Brighton, but he had to wait until 1997 to score his first West Ham goal, which came against Barnsley on the opening day of the ’97/98 season.
Last: New England Revolution’s Brad Knighton will forever have the honour of being the last goalkeeper Lampard scored past. In typical fashion it came from a late, unmarked, run into the box.
First: As with 90% of mid-90s footballers in England Lampard’s first set of boots were a no-thrills pair of adidas Copa Mundials. A classy boot for a classy player.
Last: Lampard stayed loyal to adidas throughout the majority of his career, and was last seen wearing a pair of ‘adidas X 15.1 leather’.
First: Lampard’s most interesting midfield partner at Swansea was Kwame Ampadu, whose son Ethan is already playing for Exeter aged 15. Hopefully he can pass down some of young Frank’s tips to his son.
Last: As midfield partners go, they don’t get much better than Andrea Pirlo. While both may have been past their peak, it was still a fitting player for Lampard to go out alongside.
First: Lamps made his England Under-21 bow against Greece in November 1997, partnering Nigel Quashie in midfield, while his senior debut came against Belgium two years later.
Last: The less said about Lampard’s last England appearance- a 0-0 World Cup 2014 draw with Costa Rica- the better.
First: Forget the Champions League. Forget the Premier League. Lampard’s first taste of glory was the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup, when West Ham beat Metz 3-2 over two legs. Magnificent.
Last: Lampard last got his hands on a trophy as part of Chelsea’s Europa League triumph in 2013, although he’s since won a host of individual honours, including the Globe Soccer Awards Player Career Award, which we assume has pride of place in his trophy cabinet.
First: White Hart Lane, September 2001, was the scene of Lampard’s first career red card, when he was sent off in a 3-2 win after picking up a second yellow card in injury-time.
Last: Lampard only picked up four red cards throughout his career, the last of which came against Liverpool in February 2009 for a studs up tackle on Xabi Alonso.