Farewell to Frank – the goals machine who became one of Chelsea’s finest

Frank Lampard. High quality and low maintenance. A perfect combination.

A player who, as his game changed and his experience grew, was able to dictate play and dominate matches with a maturity and ability that was somewhat ignored because of his brilliant goals record.

And the goals record – 211 in 649 games – is jaw-droppingly brilliant.

His talent, range of passing, ability to read the game and leadership was clear. But his Chelsea career will be remembered for the goals. It was all about the goals.

Title-clinching goals. Tap-ins. Stupendous free-kicks. FA Cup-winning goals. Nerveless, vital penalties. Goals in Champions League finals. A man for all seasons and occasions – season after season.

Club record-breaking goals. Headers, volleys, left-foot, right-foot, the trademark arrive-in-the-box and side-foot home. Goals from everywhere.

Two hundred and eleven of them. The top-scoring Premier League midfielder of all time – a record unlikely to be matched. An England regular. Rarely injured, never difficult, always contributing and effective.

Frank Lampard of Chelsea
Lampard is hugely popular among Blues fans.

A West Ham youth-team player steeped in Claret and Blue history through the strongest of strong family ties is arguably Chelsea’s greatest ever player.

A ridiculous statement to get your head around, maybe, particularly given his inauspicious start and the scepticism his £11m move from east to west London in 2001 generated.

But it’s undoubtedly true. Even if it’s Zola, Osgood, Terry or Harris who get the final vote, Lampard is undoubtedly deserving of a mention alongside the very best Blues.

He was idolised and a role model, and his announcement that he is leaving Chelsea was made with typical class.

A midfielder with that astonishing goals record. All 211 of them. But they also counted for something. Three Premier League titles, a Champions League winner, four FA Cups, two League Cups. Oh and the Europa League too.

Bucket loads of goals. The Bolton goals, that chip against Hull, the Villa record-breaking double. The Liverpool penalty. So, so many goals. But he was so much more to Chelsea.

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