Former England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard retired as a player on this day in 2017 after a stellar 21-year career.
Lampard, then 38, widely regarded as one of the Premier League’s all-time greats, announced his decision on social media after spending the previous year at Major League Soccer side New York City.
He said: “After 21 incredible years, I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer.
“Whilst I have received a number of exciting offers to continue playing at home and abroad, at 38 I feel now is the time to begin the next chapter in my life.
“I’m immensely proud of the trophies I’ve won, of representing my country over 100 times and of scoring more than 300 career goals.”
Lampard is the Premier League’s fourth-highest appearance maker (609) and sixth-highest goalscorer (177). He is also fifth on the all-time assists list with 102.
After starting his career at West Ham, Lampard spent 13 years at Chelsea and became part of his country’s ‘golden generation’ despite failing to win major honours with England.
The former midfielder is Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer (211) and only three players have made more than his 648 appearances for the club.
He added in his retirement statement: “The largest part of my heart belongs to Chelsea, a club which has given me so many great memories. I will never forget the opportunity they gave me and the success that we managed to achieve together.”
Lampard won 11 major trophies at Stamford Bridge – three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League in 2012.
He made his senior England debut in a friendly win against Belgium in 1999 and went on to win 106 caps in total, placing him eighth on the all-time appearances list, and scored 29 goals.
After moving into management, he took Derby to the Championship play-off final and Chelsea to an FA Cup final, losing both games.
He avoided relegation with Everton in 2022 but was sacked the following January with the club 19th in the Premier League, and won just one of 11 games after returning to Chelsea in a caretaker capacity.