In the latest part of our series looking at the upbringing of our Academy youngsters, midfielder Lewis Bate talks his fondest memory in football, 2010 FIFA World Cup and looking up to Frank Lampard.
What is your earliest memory of playing football?
My earliest memory is from when I was five, I remember jogging across a field to my older brother’s team. I played for the older age group and my first training session went well, in my first game for that club I scored a hat-trick!
Where did you play your football before Chelsea?
The team was a local side in Sidcup called Footscray Lions, they are still about but I don’t have any contact with anybody from there. I haven’t played for any other team.
Who did you look up to when you were younger?
There are two people – Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. Just because I knew they were the best players at their clubs at the time and both English midfielders. I remember watching Gerrard and seeing him as being Liverpool’s main man and the captain, while Lampard was the ultimate goalscoring midfielder. They had it all.
Having Frank Lampard as the Head Coach of Chelsea now must be brilliant for you?
When he was appointed I was very happy, especially with Jody Morris being his assistant. There was such a happy vibe around the club and he’s hopefully taking Chelsea to the next level.
Did you play any sports when you were younger?
No, it’s always been football. During secondary school, I took part in a couple of Cricket games but it was never anything serious. I’m going to get into Golf, I’ve got some lessons booked.
What’s your earliest memory of watching football?
My earliest memory was during the 2010 World Cup, when Jermain Defoe scored the goal against Slovenia and that put us through to the last-16. I remember everyone being out on the streets in my area with England flags - even-though we lost to Germany in the next round, it's my earliest memory.
What one footballing memory sticks in your mind?
Last season we had a Premier League tournament at Manchester City – we didn’t win it but I got player of the tournament. We lost in the final on penalties and I got given player of the tournament but I remember just thinking about losing – but now looking back, it was a big achievement.
- Our unbeaten Under-18s are in league action with a trip to Tottenham this morning. Midfield pair Lewis Bate and Ben Elliott have featured for Ed Brand's side this season and both recently signed their first professional contracts with Chelsea, both will hope to continue the good form with a positive result over Spurs. Kick-off is at 11am.