Frank Lampard Sr played for Sir Alf Ramsey and now his son is a key member of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side.
THEN AND NOW: Frank Lampard Sr played for Sir Alf Ramsey and now his son is a key member of Sven Goran Eriksson’s side.
Frank Lampard Sr. was part of a famous West Ham United side with Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds and Trevor Brooking and won two England caps at full-back.
After acting as assistant-manager to Moore at West Ham and later Harry Redknapp at West Ham, he retired from football and now runs a property business.
He also travels across Europe to see son Frank Lampard star for Chelsea and England.
Then - How did it feel starting your career alongside a World Cup winner like Bobby Moore?
For some reason, Bobby and I hit it off from the start. I was a young lad when I got into the first-team and we used to travel to the away games on the train.
I was sitting a few seats away from Bobby with the other young kids and he glanced up and beckoned me to join him and a few of the senior professionals.
We ended up rooming together for eight years and when he became manager of Southend, I went there as his player-coach. I played with a lot of great players at West Ham but he was the best, no question. It was special to make my England debut with him in the side.
Now - How closely do you follow Frank's career?
I go everywhere to watch him play, home and away, Premiership, Champions League or whatever. This is his fourth season at Chelsea and I’ve only missed one match when they played a European game in Israel and it was difficult to travel.
It’s pretty much the same story with England. I went to Euro 2004 and to Austria and Poland for the two World Cup qualifiers this season.
The proudest moments were watching him play for Chelsea in the FA Cup Final against Arsenal, a competition I was lucky enough to win twice with West Ham, and when he made his England debut against Belgium at The Stadium of Light.
Jamie Redknapp (Frank’s cousin) was in the England team as well which was nice.
Then - Who was the best player you had to mark?
The best was Best, George Best. I remember playing at Old Trafford and Ron Greenwood asked me to follow him everywhere, from the right flank to the left flank, wherever he wandered. But he said ‘don’t try to tackle him or he’ll go past you’.
The plan was to stick tight and make him pass to a team-mate with less ability.
We held them to 0-0 for 89 minutes then Bobby Charlton swung in a corner and Besty made a run to the near post, I followed him but he got their first and headed in the winner.
I was distraught at the time but I cheered up when I read in the paper that Sir Matt Busby had given me a lot of praise for my performance.
Now - What have you made of Wayne Rooney?
He is an outstanding player, a one-off in this generation. I suppose you think about George Best when you see him play. George could run one way, turn the other way and his marker wouldn’t be able to follow it.
Turning on a tanner is the old staying and Rooney has that attribute as well.
He is a strong lad and without showing any disrespect to Everton, the move to Manchester United will be a big help.
West Ham are a great club but Frank has really been able to improve his game at a club like Chelsea. I think Rooney will be revelation at United.
Then - Your England career is notable in that your two England caps were eight years apart!
My first cap came against Yugoslavia at Wembley in 1972. It was fantastic of course, Alf Ramsey was the manager and the team was full of star players like Bobby Moore and Alan Ball.
I could play right-back or left-back but at the time, there were a lot of good defenders around like Emlyn Hughes and Terry Cooper who played for big clubs while West Ham were either in Division Two or fighting relegation a lot in the 1970s.
I didn’t play again for Alf or Don Revie but when my old West Ham manager Ron Greenwood took charge of England, I got the call up again for a Centenary match against Australia.
Now - What have you learned from Frank about the current England side?
Of course Frank talks about the other players and what they are like. My sense is that there is a real camaraderie among them that can be hard to find in international teams.
Obviously, there won’t be Steve Gerrard or Paul Scholes now against Wales but Frank is relishing the extra responsibility.
You see him taking free-kicks, corners and taking a bit of a command both for Chelsea and England. That’s good to see. I think England have the nucleus of a good side, I could see that in Portugal.
Then - As a full-back, you didn't score many, but one of your goals did become legendary...
I played more than 600 games for West Ham but the thing all the supporters talk about is a header I scored against Everton in the 1980 FA Cup Semi-Final.
In fact they still do the chant ‘The ball came over, and Frank fell over’. I was 31 when I scored that goal, the acclaim kept me going for a few years! And we beat Arsenal in The FA Cup Final that year.
Now - Apart from watching football, are you still involved in the game?
I’m happy to follow Frank’s career now and I don’t really miss the physical side of football because I still run and do weights every day.
I was always into keeping fit, even as a player I would do extra training in the afternoons. I think Frank is a like that as well. I’ve also got a property business that’s been running for running 30 years.
I’ve got a portfolio of properties that take time to run so I don’t think I’ll go back to football at the age of 56.