Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Christine flags up her love for Frank

Chelsea players' wives and girlfriends including Frank Lampard's partner Christine Bleakley (centre) follow the team bus during the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League trophy parade in London.

Most women I know regard football on TV as Calpol for big, grown-up men. A little helping of it and - bingo! - you can get on with whatever you're doing while they lie back, remote in hand, all glazed of eye and soothed, drinking in another match.

Weirdly, it doesn't even have to be his team. A few hairy players hoofing a ball around on some half mown field on the far side of Russia is just as compelling to him. Or the Irish League. It's to do with The Great Pain of All Men; by some twisty fluke of fate they ended up with one team - their team - and therein lies a lifetime of misery, yearning, disappointment and, ultimately, more misery.

Of course, expect a few interruptions, like: "Quick, now! You have got to see this goal."

No, I don't really. But I'll look up from Grazia if it stops you rewinding it and talking... me... through... it... really... slowly.

There will be odd outbursts, too, like: "Ach, they've parked the coach on the pitch." But when you look there's no sign of any vehicle at all. Baffling.

Still, all this is why it is patently obvious that Christine Bleakley is madly in love with Frank Lampard. No one could fake the gamut of emotions she went through on Saturday night - fear, despair, elation - as revealed in those fabulous photos she tweeted. Nails painted blue, waving a Chelsea flag, hands clasped in prayer in the stands in Germany... . she was with Frank for every kick of the game.

Of course, the pictures were also typically Christine - down-to-earth, fun and totally unpretentious. And, obviously, supporting her man like a proper girlfriend and in a manner the rest of us can only gaze upon in awed admiration. Mind you Frank Lampard is an incredibly well-toned, wealthy man with a Champions League medal... not a paunch, an overdraft and a bronze javelin medal from 1982.

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