Belfast Telegraph

Christine's pride as Frank Lampard hangs up his Chelsea boots

By Matt McGeehan

Christine Lampard has said she is proud of her husband Frank after the footballing veteran called time on his football career yesterday after 21 years.

As Frank Lampard announced his retirement, friends and old rivals hailed the player's achievements.

The 38-year-old received a glowing tribute from John Terry, his long-time friend and Chelsea team-mate.

Steven Gerrard, with whom Lampard tussled at club level and never quite gelled with for England, added his congratulations.

On her Instagram page, his Co Down-born wife Christine posted a photo of Frank in his Chelsea kit in front of a sea of adoring fans.

"Very proud of my husband today," she wrote beside it.

Lampard hinted at his future career direction in his retirement statement after revealing he declined offers to continue playing.

"After 21 incredible years, I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer," Lampard wrote on Instagram.

"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.

"Looking forward, I'm grateful to the FA (Football Association) for the opportunity to study for my coaching qualifications and I look forward to pursuing the off-field opportunities that this decision opens."

That leaves open the prospect of a return to Chelsea, who have long stated a desire to retain a lasting affinity with players of Lampard's generation, through ambassadorial, commercial or coaching roles.

Terry paid an emotional tribute. "The GREATEST player in the history of our great football club," Terry wrote.

Gerrard added: "Congratulations to @franklampard incredible player, incredible career. Good luck for your future mate."

Chelsea's record scorer also played for West Ham and Man City in the Premier League. He left New York City FC last autumn. For club and country, Lampard made 1,019 appearances, scoring 302 goals.

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