Belfast Telegraph

Ex-Chelsea man Frank Lampard wins away at Palace as he nets OBE

Former Chelsea football star Frank Lampard has said his old club can turn their dismal start to the season around as he was awarded an OBE for services to his sport.

Lampard was recognised for a career in British football that spanned 20 years and saw him win a clutch of medals with Chelsea and play for England more than 100 times.

He was joined at Buckingham Palace by his partner Christine Bleakley who could not resist taking pictures of her fiance as he posed for the waiting media.

As he stood in the Palace's forecourt other recipients of honours and their families also took pictures of the former England player or asked him to pose for selfies.

Speaking after receiving his honour from the Duke of Cambridge, Lampard said: "As a personal achievement goes, this ranks up there with my achievements on the pitch and what I won with Chelsea, and playing for my country.

"But to receive an award like this among some very special people here, military, people who are doing alot of good work in charity, it's very humbling to be here."

Lampard was Chelsea's all-time leading scorer with 211 goals before leaving England, after one season with Manchester City, to play Major League Soccer for New York City.

The midfielder began his career at West Ham where his father also played and four years after making his first-team debut won his first senior cap for England in 1999 - going on to be picked more than 100 times.

He captained Chelsea to a Uefa Champions League final victory in 2012 and with the club won four FA Cup winners medals and three Premier League title medals.

His former team are languishing in the bottom half of the table after losing five matches, a start to the season which has raised questions about the future of manager Jose Mourinho.

Speaking about Chelsea's poor form Lampard said: "It's a hot topic because you don't expect Chelsea to lose games like they've been losing recently.

"These periods do happen, I've been involved in them before and the thing that matters is coming out of them the other side.

"With Jose Mourinho in charge, the squad they've got, the talent they've got on the pitch and the club that Chelsea is now - I don't see anyway that they won't turn it around."

Also honoured during the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony was actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was awarded a CBE for services to drama, but declined to talk to the waiting press.

The entertainer is already a holder of an OBE and is starring in the latest Ridley Scott blockbuster The Martian, which has Matt Damon leading the cast.

In 2013 he received an Oscar nomination and won a Bafta for his leading role in Steve McQueen's moving film 12 Years A Slave.

Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond was awarded a CBE for a career writing much-loved stories for children.

The recent movie about his bear who hails from "darkest Peru'', loves marmalade sandwiches and is adopted by the Brown family, introduced the impeccably polite character to a new generation of children.

Mr Bond's first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published in 1958 and the Paddington books have sold more than 35 million copies worldwide and been translated into over 30 languages.

Mr Bond, who has been awarded a CBE for services to children's literature to add to the OBE he received in July 1997, spoke about the name of his famous bear.

He said: "I was brought up in Reading so Paddington station was our station at the end of the line, but I always wanted to use the name Paddington because it sounds important but it also sounds like a warm West Country name.

"I had a letter from a small boy quite a long time ago, he said he was so used to it as a name for a bear, he thought it was a funny name for a station."

Mr Bond was born in Newbury, Berkshire, and educated at Presentation College, Reading. He served in both the Royal Air Force and the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army during the Second World War. He began writing in 1945 when he was in the Army.

The dream of becoming a writer was born after he was paid seven guineas when his first short story was sold to a magazine called London Opinion.

With a mass of short stories and radio plays under his belt, his agent suggested that he could consider writing for children.

Mr Bond turned a television play into a children's play and eventually the married father-of-two from Maida Vale, London, crafted a career as a successful children's writer.

Speaking about the enduring appeal of Paddington he said: "I never take it for granted, it's really warming, it's genuine and I get letters saying 'I wrote to you 25 years ago and you wrote back and sent me a picture and I still have it by my bed'.

"I think they don't go on to other things people, if they're brought up on Paddington, he stays with them."

During the ceremony Duwayne Brooks, who survived the race-hate attack in which Stephen Lawrence was murdered, was awarded an OBE for public and political service.

He was with his friend at a bus stop in Eltham, south east London, when the pair, then both aged 18, were set upon by a gang of white racist youths in April 1993.

Since that day Mr Brooks has had to cope with the emotional stress of surviving the unprovoked knife attack, the bungled police murder investigation, being the key witness and the controversy over how the case was handled.

He has also launched a career in local politics with much of his work focusing on safer communities, and was a Liberal Democrat councillor in the inner city region of Lewisham in south east London.

As the key witness, Mr Brooks gave evidence to the packed Old Bailey trial in 2011/2012 in which Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of Mr Lawrence's murder. They were jailed for life.

Asked what effect the murder of his friend has had on his life he replied: "If that hadn't have happened, I would not be here.

"I don't think the life set out for me would have been spectacular, I would never have got into politics. I would have just been some lowly engineer somewhere - when I was younger I wanted to be a satellite engineer and work for Nasa, that's what I wanted to be doing."

He added: "Because of that unfortunate time and years and years and years of dispute and fraught (times) with the Met Police, you turn it on its head because you as an individual decide I'm going to do something positive now, I want to be different and I don't want to be consumed with hatred and negativity."

Dr William Frankland, a pioneer in the treatment of allergies, who at the age of 103 is thought to be the nation's oldest active scientific expert, was awarded an MBE.

After a career spanning more than 60 years he is considered by many of his colleagues as the grandfather of clinical allergy medicine in the UK - and once treated Saddam Hussein for his allergies.

He was sent out to examine the Iraqi leader in the late 1970s when the country was not yet an international pariah.

"He was smoking over 40 cigarettes a day and when he wasn't eating, sleeping or praying he was smoking - that was his trouble," the 103-year-old said.

He gave the Iraqi leader an ultimatum to quit smoking and he did, and he later found out he did not have asthma and was not allergic to other substances.

Dr Frankland was also behind the daily pollen counts that are a feature at the end of weather reports, he said: "I started it in 1951 and gave it to the press from 1963.

"People were so inaccurate about when they were getting their symptoms, so It was necessary to explain why their symptoms had stated and why they were so severe (with a pollen count)."

In 1954 he published a seminal research paper about his study which showed that desensitising people to grass pollen reduced their symptoms of hay fever.

He said: "What I (did) for the first time in the world (was) a double blind control trial to see whether the desensitisation in summer hay fever and asthma, whether it worked - and it did work."

He joked that he had hay fever for 90 years but in the last three had "grown out of it".


From Belfast Telegraph