Today’s date will forever feel sad to me. June 2nd 2014. It is the day that Frank James Lampard has confirmed that he is leaving Chelsea Football Club. I started watching football in the early 2000s, and became a fan of hometown heroes FC Copenhagen. But it felt more like a local team than my team. You have to understand that I was not a football fan per se, seeing as my father never watched sports – it was all up to me to find something to care about, as my father was constantly working or spending his free time enjoying film after film – the birth of my cinematic interest.
Along came Frank Lampard. I had always loved the English culture, and had been raised somewhat as if I was English – ‘Mary had a little lamb’ etc. was what my parents gave me and my sister – not something Danish. An English team seemed natural. In that time Peter Schmeichel was still supported heavily in Denmark, and therefore people always wanted me to support Manchester United. I did not. Neither did I note that Chelsea Football Club had signed Danish winger, Jesper Grønkjær – a man who, undoubtedly, is to blame for early coverage of Chelsea in the media.
Frank Lampard was signed by Chelsea Football Club in June 2001, 13 years ago, and his resemblance to Lee Ryan of the Pop Group ‘Blue’ intrigued me. That was when I fell in love with how he played. Suddenly, almost over night, I had been turned into a Chelsea Football Club Fan solely because of Lampard. I even remember buying his autobiography ‘Totally Frank’ in the original language, even though I had little real English teaching. It strengthened my language skills, and thus has probably had a major impact on my current study – English at the University of Copenhagen.
Since then he has become the best player in Chelsea Football Club history, the most scoring player for Chelsea, as well as a stellar example of intelligence and respect on the pitch. My faith in ‘super’ Frank Lampard was never lost, and thus my relationship with Chelsea grew. I became a fan, I fell in love with the team by proxy.
Today broadcaster Kay Burley tweeted the following statement from Frank Lampard, following rumours of him signing with New York City Football Club, a new Major League Soccer Team created by the owners of Manchester City:
“This club has become part of my life and I have so many to thank for the opportunity. Ken Bates who put his neck on the line to sign me as young player. Abramovich, the man who saved our club and took us to a new level. Special mention to all the staff and people behind the scenes who do not receive the glory. Finally and most importantly I would like to thank the Chelsea FC fans. I believe they are the greatest fans in world football. Whatever the next challenge I will always be among you and have Chelsea in my heart. Thank you for the memories Chelsea Football Club and keep making history!” – Frank Lampard statement, through Kay Burley.
I am forever grateful to Frank Lampard, and I wish him all the best in the future – I will always follow his career as a fan. The greatest footballer I have ever seen play – and I am truly thankful to have attended games in which he played – versus Copenhagen, Brøndby and Nordsjælland.
Thank you for everything Frank Lampard. A True Chelsea Legend – Forever and Always.