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 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.


From Belfast Telegraph