Belfast Telegraph

Manchester City ace Frank Lampard says men should do more about the home

By Helen Nianias

Football stars aren't usually associated with their feminist outlook on life.

That hasn't stopped Frank Lampard striking a blow for equality with his strong views of the role men should play in the home.

The former England footballer - engaged to Northern Ireland presenter Christine Bleakley - has lambasted "pig-headed, old fashioned" men who expect women to take care of every household chore. The star sportsman also advocated the role fathers can play in reading to their young children every night, as he does.

The Manchester City player told the Sunday Times: "One of the best things in life is that bedtime reading thing when you are interacting with your child ... and picking them up on the school run."

Lampard, who has two daughters, Luna (9) and Isla (7), with his ex-partner Elen Rivas, tries to spend 20 minutes every weekday evening reading with them.

"It applies to footballers, too. A lot of players I know with young kids are involved in reading bedtime stories with them or getting up in the night and doing feeds," the 36-year-old said.

"It's a pig-headed, old-fashioned view to say mums should do all the work at home. Dads are eager to shoulder some too. We have all moved on a little bit."

Lampard has been engaged to Bleakley since 2011 and has previously praised the central role she plays in his daughters' lives. The couple live together in London and Manchester.

Bleakley, from Newtownards, has spoken in the past about her hope of becoming a mother.

"Frank's girls ask me when I'm having a baby and it's something I'd absolutely love - when the time is right', she said.

Lampard's love of reading to his children is perhaps no surprise, given that he has published his own book called Frankie's Magic Football.

He wants to write a follow-up that emphasises the importance of women and girls in the sport.

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