Lampard given time to grieve for his mother
Chelsea said yesterday that they will "be offering all the support we can" to Frank Lampard following the death of his mother, Pat, who had been suffering from pneumonia.
The midfielder, 29, will be given as much time as he needs to grieve, which means he could miss next Wednesday's Champions League semi-final at home to Liverpool as well as tomorrow's Premier League meeting with Manchester United.
"It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that Pat Lampard passed away this afternoon," Steve Kutner, Lampard's agent, said in a statement. "Frank and his family would like to thank all the people who have inundated them with wishes of support.
"Frank would like to acknowledge and say thank you for the compassion shown to him by the manager Avram Grant and all the staff at Chelsea during what has been a terribly traumatic period."
Pat Lampard, who was 58, was the wife of the former West Ham United defender Frank Snr, and her sister, Sandra, is married to the Portsmouth manager, Harry Redknapp. She was admitted to Whipps Cross Hospital in north London 11 days ago. Lampard had been a constant visitor to the hospital with his father and sisters, Natalie, 36, and Claire, 33.
The England international missed two league games last week, against Wigan and Everton, because of his mother's condition, but declared himself fit to play against Liverpool on Tuesday after she showed signs of improvement. However, her condition deteriorated dramatically on Wednesday and she was placed on a life support machine.
In a statement Chelsea said that everyone at the club "is absolutely devastated to hear the tragic news of the passing away of Pat Lampard... Pat was a very familiar face to many people at Chelsea FC. Her unswerving support for her son's career was evident at virtually every game that Frank participated in. Regardless of where it was being played, she would always be there to watch him with Frank's dad. Pat will be deeply missed by everyone at Chelsea."
Liverpool passed on their condolences. Manager Rafael Benitez added: "He has our sympathy because for him this is very, very bad news. Some of our players are mates with him from the [England] national team, so everyone feels the same."