Frank Lampard’s love of the beautiful game was ingrained into him from an early age, and he has been recalling his first steps in football and the crucial role his family played in them.
Lampard hails from serious footballing heritage. His father, Frank Senior, played over 650 times for West Ham and represented England twice, and his uncle Harry Redknapp has been a successful manager at a number of Premier League clubs. It is no surprise, then, that our new boss’s association with football started so early.
‘I remember every photo that was at home of me when I was a very young boy, and there was a football on the floor or in my hand,’ he said. ‘That’s how I grew up.
‘I remember the first time I went to my local park to join my local football team. I remember vividly joining in and being nervous, but from then on every day I came home from school I went to go and play football. At the weekends I wanted to play football. Those are beautiful memories for me from when I was growing up.
‘Coming from a footballing family certainly helped me as a player,’ continued Lampard.
‘From a very young age I had a father who played football, and an uncle who played football. I had lots of knowledge passed down to me from a really young age, and I think without that help from within my family, it would have been very difficult to become a professional footballer.
‘Moving onto management, it helps me because I always have help at home. I always have done. With my knowledge of the game and how I feel about football, it can hopefully help me in my managerial years.’
Lampard is seeking to replicate some of the vast success he enjoyed during his trophy-laden 13 years as a player at Stamford Bridge, and add to the many wonderful memories he has of sharing special times with the Chelsea support. Two in particular burn bright.
‘As a player my special place was Stamford Bridge. I loved playing at home and feeling the support of the home crowd.
‘My memories of the celebrations when we won the Premier League for the first time in 2005 are great. We came home to Stamford Bridge and we had about 250,000 fans for the bus tour in the streets around the stadium [pictured top]. It was very special and emotional.
‘Then when we won the Champions League in 2012, even more so. Seemingly every Chelsea fan was in the street to support us and we celebrated all together.’
You can watch today's game between Reading and Chelsea at the Madejski Stadium live, either via this website or our official app. Full details on how to sign up for the game can be found here.