Frank Lampard opened up about the tough times he faced during his West Ham days which left him in tears at one point.
The England great came through the celebrated Academy of Football at the East London club and made his first team debut in 1996. While he was ultimately a success and moved to Chelsea in 2001 in an £11million after amassing 187 appearances and 39 goals, Lampard faced adversity at the beginning of his West Ham career.
In a now-infamous clip, an 18-year-old Lampard was at a fan forum alongside West Ham manager Harry Redknapp – who's also his uncle – as a Hammers fan said that the midfielder wasn't good enough and questioned why Redknapp sold Scott Canham to Brentford.
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The ex-West Ham player leapt to Lampard's defense as he professed to the room that he'll reach the highest heights of the sport. 25 years later, Redknapp's claim rings true as the Chelsea icon looked back on that moment as he spoke to former Chelsea teammate Jon Obi Mikel on the Obi One Podcast.
"At the time I was sort of embarrassed, devastated, I was a young kid," the 48-year-old admitted. "This fella was an ignorant fella, he didn’t want to give me a chance, he was the uncle of Scott Canham. Nothing against Scott Canham, maybe something against his uncle, he wanted to have a pop at me in public which I thought was weak.
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"At that point I didn’t take it in, I was sat there like I was the only man in the room, it was so nerve-racking for me." Lampard admitted that while he was appreciative of Redknapp's public faith in him, he broke down in tears when driving back home. "Harry’s words were amazing, incredible. But I was driving home in tears, this random man trying to put me in my place.
"I’m just trying to make it as a player, trying to get my foot in the first team, I was a West Ham fan. My period there was a bit like that, a lot of people wanted to question why I played, why my dad was the coach, my uncle’s the manager."
Lampard went on to become one of the greatest midfielders of his generation as he ended his career as Chelsea's record goalscorer where he won three Premier League titles, one Champions League, and four FA Cups.
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