As Frank Lampard Sr celebrates his 70th birthday, we take a look back at the reasons why he is a legendary West Ham United figure...
THAT celebration in the 1980 FA Cup semi-final
Frank Lampard might only have scored 22 goals in his 18-year West Ham career, but he can lay claim to perhaps the most iconic goal celebration in Hammers history. With just two minutes remaining in extra-time of the 1980 FA Cup semi-final replay against Everton at Elland Road and the scores locked at 1-1, Lampard swooped with a diving header to send the Hammers to Wembley. The goal itself was memorable enough, but Lampard’s famous jig around the corner flag topped it off.
He’s a local boy done good
There was only one club that Lampard could have made his mark at, given he was born just down the road in East Ham on 20 September 1948. He joined the Hammers Academy and progressed to make his debut aged 19 against Manchester City. The rest, as they say, is history.
He won the FA Cup twice
West Ham United have won the FA Cup three times in their history and Lampard was in the team for two of those triumphs. Lampard started at left-back as the Hammers defeated Fulham, including his mentor Bobby Moore, 2-0 in May 1975, and he was there at left-back again five years later as John Lyall’s men got the better of Arsenal.
He overcame early adversity to earn his place in the Club record books
Lampard’s breakthrough at the Hammers came whilst he was still a teenager, but he had to overcome early adversity before going on to become the Club’s second highest all-time appearance maker. Just five months into his first team career, he broke his leg in a 2-1 victory against Sheffield United. An entire year of rehab later, he was ready to return and he never looked back, going on to play 670 times in Claret & Blue – a tally beaten only by Billy Bonds.
He represented his country
Lampard’s stellar career with the Hammers was recognised by his country – although many observers would say he deserved more than the two senior caps he won. He made his debut in a 1-1 Wembley draw against Yugoslavia in October 1972, but had to wait eight years for his next cap, which came in a 2-1 victory against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
He returned to the Club as assistant manager
Frank’s Hammers playing career came to an end in May 1985 when he moved on for a final season with Southend United under Moore’s management, but nine years later he was back at the Boleyn Ground when he became assistant manager to his brother-in-law Harry Redknapp. The duo would enjoy a seven-year stint at the helm, which included the Club’s highest Premier League finish of fifth in 1998/99.
He was named ninth in the Club’s #50GreatestHammers
Lampard’s contribution to the Club was such that he was named in the top ten of our recent #50GreatestHammers series, in association with Basset & Gold. Lampard’s place in the top ten arguably puts him as the best left-back ever to turn out in Claret & Blue and ensures he is still remembered with great fondness by the West Ham faithful.