Stamford Bridge star takes criticism on the (double) chin.
Chelsea star Frank Lampard says his ‘Fat Frank’ nickname now makes him laugh but has admitted the jib used to bother him.
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The Blues veteran is still going strong at 34 but has been accused on not taking care of himself throughout his career, with fans labelling him fat and unfit.
Lampard, who joined Chelsea for £11m from West Ham in 2001, has admitted the taunt used to get to him but says he’s long since realised how ‘ridiculous’ it is.
“I’m fine with it now; it actually makes me laugh. But when I was younger it used to upset me, it was a stick to beat me with. It started at West Ham, and I can remember going back to Upton Park about seven years ago and a really overweight woman stood up in the chicken run and shouted “Fat Frank” at me,” Lampard told FourFourTwo.
“That was the moment where I realised this was getting ridiculous, so I just laugh at it now. There are a lot of really nasty things fans say to players, stuff about personal and family issues, and I don’t like that at all, but I am more than happy with “Fat Frank.”
The England international is aware that taking stick is part and parcel of being a professional footballer but admits that he refused to accept being criticised on LBC radio by presenter James O’Brien in 2009.
Lampard rang the show to defend himself from O’Brien’s accusations that he was not looking after his children following his divorce and revealed he has received plenty of praise for doing so.
“I have never spoken to him [O’Brien] since. It comes with the territory in football that you get some intrusion in to your private life, but I couldn’t accept anyone talking about my family and my kids. I have a good conscience on that,” Lampard added.
“So when someone was saying I wasn’t around and not looking after my kids I had to ring in the show. I was driving at the time, and my sister phoned me and said this fella on the radio is talking about you. In football you have to let these things go, but for some reason I thought, “No, I’m not accepting that.” A lot of people have told me they liked me doing that. There are a lot of single fathers who have had a tough time and said it was amazing I did that.
“I know Jamie Carragher phoned in to Talksport, and it is good to do that, because it challenges people’s perceptions. People think, “Oh, they are footballers, they get their money and they drive flash cars.” That is certainly not true, we are normal people behind the scenes, and so it is nice to act like a normal person and say to someone, “Why are you saying that for?”
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