Chelsea Star Frank Lampard Signs Contract to Write Children's Books

Willie Gannon@ Writer IFebruary 15, 2013

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Frank Lampard of Chelsea thanks the support after the FA Cup Third Round match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary's Stadium on January 5, 2013 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Chelsea star Frank Lampard has signed a new contract with book publisher Little Brown to write a new series of children's books.

The soon to be out of contract English international has signed a deal to write five books about a young boy called Frankie who has a magic football. Lampard was inspired to write the children's books after his two children, aged five and eight, asked him for stories about football.

His first book, Frankie Versus The Pirate Pillagers, will be published in June 2013 just as his contract with Chelsea ends. It will be followed by two more, Frankie versus the Rowdy Romans and Frankie versus the Mummy's Menace, before Christmas with another two to follow in 2014.

His bio on the Little Brown website reads as;

Born into a football family, with his dad being a West Ham player, Frank was determined to succeed in becoming the same. He left Brentwood School with 11 GCSEs, carrying on to pursue a career in football. Starting at West Ham United, Frank now plays for Chelsea and the England team.

The inspiration for Frankie's Magic Football sprung from Frank reading to his own children, and them asking for stories about football. When he couldn't find any he created his own characters and adventures to entertain them. He lives in London and Surrey with his wife and daughters and hopes to inspire both young girls and boys to read with his new series.

Lampard is not the only current England star to write books for younger readers.

23-year-old Arsenal forward Theo Walcott wrote a series of children's football books in 2010. Based upon a younger version of himself, TJ plays for Parkview School. With the help of his friends and P.E. teacher they overcome all kinds of obstacles while learning about football and each other. Walcott's books have been very well received thus far.

Nor is Lampard the only Stamford Bridge old boy to put pen to paper. Ex-Chelsea player, Tottenham Hotspur and England manager Terry Venables has helped pen no less than 16 books.

Most of Venables' books are football related, but in the early '70s, with the help of Gordon Williams, he wrote five fictional tomes about a detective called James Hazell which was later turned into a successful TV series.

The deal is obviously a huge move for Lampard. Moving from his comfort-zone of professional footballer to author is no easy feat. 

However, the contract he really wanted was a renewal with Chelsea. In January the 34-year-old club legend offered to take a pay cut of £100,000 per week to stay. However, this incredible offer was rejected by the Chelsea hierarchy, who told Lampard's agent "that in no circumstances will he be offered a new contract to stay at the club after the end of this season."

That rejection has left the door open for Lampard to move away from the Pensioners on a free transfer in June. 

Over the course of his 12 seasons with Chelsea the England international has played almost 600 matches and has scored a phenomenal 198 goals thus far. What makes these statistics all the more incredible is that he has scored all these goals from midfield.

As a player, Lampard is a physical freak. He has never played less than 30 games a season for Chelsea and has not failed to score double figures in over 10 years. Such is his physical prowess that during the 2006-07 season he managed to play an amazing 62 times for the Blues.

This term Lampard started off slowly. That was mainly down to the fact that Roberto Di Matteo was easing the star to one side. However, recent form under new manager Rafael Benitez suggest that Chelsea would be mad not to take Lampard up on his earlier offer of a wage cut.

Lampard has managed an incredible 16 goals in 34 games for club and country since August and is easily still one of the most effective and dangerous players in the Premier League. This superb form and the fact that he is still relevant at international level may sway him to stay in the Premier League for just one more season.

Next year the World Cup will be played in Brazil with England as obvious contenders for the trophy they last won in 1966. 

Despite a gargantuan contract offer from the LA Galaxy to move to Major League Soccer, Lampard may be tempted by Brazil 2014 to stay in England rather than go on gardening leave in the MLS.

At 35 this move would signify the end of his international career, but if he was to stay in the EPL he would still have the chance to make the flight to Brazil.

There is no doubt that he still has the ability to play at the highest level and his availability would instantly pique the interest of top clubs. He would slot into the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton quite easily to name just a few.

Sir Alex Ferguson is a long-time admirer of the star and speculation is already growing that the Red Devils will move for Lampard in June.

Whether it is significant or not has yet to be determined, but Lampard's second book will be titled Frankie versus the Rowdy Romans.

It is Roman Abramovich who has closed the door on Chelsea's greatest ever player.

Lampard is that good and that strong that he could yet play for another two to three years. Ferguson has already proved with Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes that he knows how to treat veterans and extend their careers, he could do the same with Lampard to great effect.

If Ferguson does sign Lampard, we will most definitely be reading about Frankie and his magic ball in Brazil 2014.


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You can look me up on Twitter @WillieGannon


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