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Five moments that define the legend of Frank Lampard at Chelsea

Super, Super Frank

Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s all-time leading goal-scorer and arguably greatest ever player will be a special guest at Stamford Bridge this weekend. In addition to a commemorative matchday programme cover honoring the man who captained Chelsea in two European cup finals, Super Frank will be given a lap of honor during half-time as well. Wearing the iconic no.8 shirt, Lampard made 648 apperances for Chelsea. Here, Dan Levene recalls five moments that sealed his legend.

Bolton 0-2 Chelsea, 30 April 2005

Bolton Wanderers v Chelsea Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

The date had been set: on this day in Lancashire, Chelsea would be Champions of England for the first time in half a century.

But things weren't going to plan.

The Blues looked sluggish and disjointed in the first half: it was as if they were waiting for the helicopter to drop off the trophy for them.

They knew they would be champions at some point, whatever the result here.

But boss Jose Mourinho was not having that: he tore a strip off the dressing room at the break.

A second half brace from Lampard sealed it: emphatically put away right in front of the Chelsea end at the Reebok.

And then the party got started...

Chelsea 3-2 Liverpool (AET), 30 April 2008

By this stage, Chelsea and Liverpool had already been established as arch foes both domestically and in Europe.

Coming on the third anniversary of that title win, this game needed little to make it any more charged — and did I mention it was a Champions League semi-final?

But, just six days earlier tragedy had struck: Pat Lampard, Frank's beloved mother who had followed Chelsea to watch him play (usually with the fans) in stadia across Europe, died of pneumonia.

Avram Grant was by now the man in the dugout: but it was Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech who were in real control of this team.

Would the Blues' midfield wonder miss such a vital match? No chance.

His extra time penalty, which saw Chelsea through to their first ever Champions League final, brought an outpouring of emotion few will have experienced in a football ground before or since.

Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea (AET: Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties), 19 May 2012

After the crushing disappointment of Moscow, there was Munich.

Not for the only time, when it mattered, Lampard was called upon to stand in for his missing captain.

And it surprised absolutely nobody that he ably rose to the occasion.

The remarkable fairytale that unfolded, forever one of football's greatest stories, saw Lampard's Chelsea beat Bayern in their own stadium.

'Unser pokal'? Yeah, right.

Roberto Di Matteo's legends of the Allianz spoke with tears of joy afterwards.

Lampard just wanted to party with the fans.

Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea, 11 May 2013

Aston Villa v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Just a year after achieving a form of immortality at Chelsea, Lampard's stock had fallen dramatically.

A famously fractious relationship with interim boss Rafael Benitez saw him being edged towards the exit: with a decision having been taken that he was to get no new contract at the season's end.

At Vila Park, 1-0 down and reduced to 10 men, the campaign was petering-out to an inglorious finish.

On 201 career Chelsea goals, Lampard's chances of overhauling Bobby Tambling's record tally of one more looked slim.

But his equaliser on the hour, and winner just before time, equalled and surpassed it.

It was the catalyst for a personal intervention by Roman Abramovich, to give the club's new record goalscorer another season.

Benfica 1-2 Chelsea, 15 May 2013

SL Benfica v Chelsea FC - UEFA Europa League Final Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Four days later, Lampard would again captain Chelsea to European glory: in the Europa League final in Amsterdam against Benfica.

48 hours after that he walked into a fundraising dinner for Chelsea Pitch Owners at Stamford Bridge, 15kg of silver on a marble plinth under his arm, and talked engagingly about his career.

There was laughter, a few tears, and an unstemable overflowing of pride from all in the room.

He refused to leave until every autograph had been signed, every selfie had been taken, and every hand had been shaken.

Frank Lampard — class act on, and off the pitch.

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