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17 Agustus 2008

Lamps: Fans' Letters Made Me Stay

Lampard's future at Stamford Bridge had been a source of intense speculation before he penned a new five-year deal earlier in the week.

The England midfielder had been toying with the possibility of a move to Internazionale, where he would have linked up with former Blues boss Jose Mourinho.

Some believed the 30-year-old would welcome a change of scene and a new challenge after mourning the passing of his mother, Pat, who died of pneumonia in April.

But Lampard insisted the innumerable messages of condolence and support he received from fans convinced him that his future lay in London.

“The letters I’ve received have been totally overwhelming,” he said in News of the World. “Thousands have been sent to the training ground from Chelsea fans, people also sent me poems from Ireland.

“I’ve had letters from all sorts of people who’ve suffered and that helps me even more.

“It’s also important that I say I had lots of correspondence from Liverpool, Manchester United and West Ham fans.

“That was a breath of fresh air for me, because sometimes football can make you cynical about each other and you forget about the real things which matter.”


Although Lampard spent seven years at West Ham, his switch to Chelsea in 2001 has rendered him as something of a villain at Upton Park.

But it was a Hammers fan who provided the watershed in Lampard's decision to stay put.

He continued: “When I got a letter from a West Ham fan sending his condolences, and speaking in a certain way, it made me realise what’s important.

“Sometimes you can relate more to those who’ve been through a similar thing to yourself. It made me realise I was in the right environment.”


And while Lampard may be busy preparing for the start of Chelsea's Premier League campaign, he is determined to personally thank every last one of his well-wishers.

“I’ve read every single letter and I’m in the process of getting back to them all. It’s taking a bit of time but I wanted to write a note to each person,” he added.

“It was very important because even though I was down when I read the letters, and they made me feel even more down for a few seconds, they helped.”