INCOMING Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will bring with him a star-studded family of football legends and TV royalty.
Despite only being a year into his managerial career, the Blues legend has been handed the reins of power at one of football’s most glamorous clubs.
Frank Lampard with cousin Jamie Redknapp, uncle Harry Redknapp and father Frank Snr[/caption]
Three-time Premier League winner Lampard, 41, will have the support of his all-star family as he takes one of football’s most challenging jobs.
From his TV presenter wife to legendary manager uncle, these are the household names who have shaped Lamp’s life and career.
Faith of Frank Snr
Lampard’s Chelsea return will also see Frank Lampard Snr take back his old seat at the Bridge.
Lampard’s father, who represented West Ham more than 700 times and twice for England, watched on from the stands at almost every game during his son’s 13 years at Chelsea.
As a boy, Lampard was always eager to follow in his father’s footsteps, but the family insisted on him getting an education first
He was sent to a private school in Essex, and it paid off – he left in 1994 with 11 GCSEs, including an A* in Latin.
Years down the line when playing for Chelsea, the club took an intelligence test in which Lampard scored over 150 on the IQ scale.
That’s the same as Countdown wizard Carol Vorderman, 50 points higher than the national average, and within the top 0.1 per cent of the population.
Lampard Snr said: “Academically, Frank was quite good and he was a good cricketer who played for Essex at schoolboy level, but he always loved football.
“He met a lot of famous people in his childhood – great faces like Sir Bobby Moore.”
Lampard also idolised his mum, Patricia, who tragically passed away from complications with pneumonia in 2008.
Following Pat’s death, Lampard would celebrate goals by pointing to the sky.
After becoming Chelsea’s all-time top-scorer in 2013, he said: ” I lost my mum a few years ago and she was my biggest supporter so it’s for her.”
Uncle Harry’s helping hand
Pat was the twin sister of Harry Redknapp’s wife Sandra Harris.
In 1996, Redknapp was West Ham manager and assisted by Frank Lampard Snr when he gave Lampard his debut against Coventry City.
Lampard has credited Redknapp, winner of last year’s ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’, for kickstarting his career in the game.
Yet there were accusations of nepotism when a teenage Lampard was starting out, with one infamous press conference clash.
Redknapp, with wife Sandra, won the 2019 I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here![/caption]
A vocal fan said Lampard wasn’t good enough for West Ham and Redknapp snapped back that he would be one of the world’s best.
Lampard said: “Harry was a complete star, he really puts the fella in his place. [The footage] is great viewing now, but at the time it was horrible.”
And it was Redknapp who later helped secure Frank’s first managerial role at Derby, telling chairman Mel Morris to hire him even though he “wasn’t even on his radar”.
The former Tottenham boss was spot on back then and he’s recently tipped Lamps for the Chelsea job.
Redknapp said: “If Chelsea come calling, it’s a difficult one for him to turn down.
“In my personal opinion, he’ll be the manager of Chelsea. It looks to me like it’s going to happen.”
TV host wife keeps him grounded
Lampard and Christine Bleakley were introduced by Piers Morgan at the Pride of Britain Awards in 2009, and soon began dating.
She was one of the UK’s most loved TV presenters, co-hosting BBC1’s The One Show, while he was playing for Chelsea.
Lampard hadn’t long split from his fiancée of seven years, Spanish model Elen Rives, with whom he shares his eldest daughters Luna and Isla.
Within two years of dating the northern Irish star, he proposed and they married in 2015.
But despite the pair’s high profiles, they manage to keep a relatively low-key life with their daughter Patricia, named after Frank’s mum, in Surrey.
Christine recently explained: “I think people were more interested in the beginning of our relationship.
“It was all a bit mad, a crazy little period, almost comical when I look back, but it’s not really an issue now. We have a semi private life.
“It sounds so dull, but we love driving to the country, letting the dog off the lead and going to a country pub.”
Jamie the ‘pin-up’ cousin
From kickabouts in their grandparents garden to facing off in the Premier League, Lampard’s rose through the ranks alongside cousin Jamie Redknapp.
Redknapp, four years older than Lampard, began his career under dad Harry at Bournemouth while aged 16.
Lampard and Redknapp would take on each other in their grandparents’ garden on the south coast before Redknapp signed for Liverpool for £350,000.
Lampard said: “When I was a kid, the kickabouts in the back garden were amazing.
“There was my dad and Harry, who had been pros and were managers, and then there was Jamie, who is older than me and was an established player at Liverpool.
“I used to idolise Jamie, and I knew how lucky I was to kick a ball with him. I used to see him as the pin-up boy of English football, he had made it, and I thought, ‘That’s what I want, too’.”
It was eight years later, in 1999, that the cousins played together for their national team for the first time.
Jamie recently reminisced: “England v Belgium on October 10, 1999, was a long way from the back garden in Bournemouth where we would try to hit granddad’s wooden bird cage before going in for our tea.
“The match was special for our family because Frank made his England debut and I was there next to him.
“My parents and Frank’s mum and dad were sitting [in the stands] watching together.”
Still close to ex cousin-in-law Louise
Lampard was close to Jamie’s wife of 19 years, Eternal singer Louise.
Jamie and Louise tied the knot in June 1998 and shunned a huge, showbiz wedding.
The couple actually got engaged and married all in the same week, while on holiday in Bermuda.
The couple has two sons together, Charley, 13, and Beau, nine.
Louise attended Frank’s wedding to TV presenter Christine at St Paul’s Church in London’s Knightsbridge in 2015 alongside her then-husband.
Even though she and Jamie divorced in 2017, it seems Louise is still close to the Redknapp/Lampard clan..
And she remains in touch with Lampard and his wife, too.
Louise was one of the first to publicly congratulate them on the recent birth of their daughter Patricia – named in honour of Lampard’s late mum.
She wrote on social media: “So happy for you guys! Xxx.”