There was an almost universal outpouring of love, respect, and appreciation for Frank Lampard on Thursday after the Chelsea legend officially announced his retirement on Instagram and revealed that he’ll be studying for his coaching badges.
Chelsea of course led the way — perhaps in part making up for the fact that he’s yet to have a testimonial — and if the video above doesn’t hit you right in the feels, here’s Chelsea captain John Terry to ensure that it does.
“The GREATEST player in the history of our great football club.”
“It was an absolute pleasure playing with you mate and seeing first hand the dedication and hard work you put in, on and off the pitch, the best trainer by a million miles every single day, inspiring me and everyone at the club.”
“I miss you next to me in the dressing room and miss you grabbing a bag of balls after training when everyone went inside. You stayed out working on your finishing, 20 goals a year wasn't good enough for you, every year you wanted 25, 30 goals I love that about you ⚽️ I will miss you getting 4 cones and doing sprints after training setting the example for the kids in the academy.”
“All the great memories together winning trophy after trophy year after year I will never forget you have won everything and should be extremely proud. It's been my pleasure and honour to play and experience all those great moments with you. 648 appearances (we nearly caught Peter Bonetti and Ron Harris ) 211 goals ⚽️ unbelievable achievement ”
“A gentleman both on and off the pitch, leader in the dressing room and if I could choose one person next to me in the trenches it would be you.”
“A great dad to your two beautiful girls and I'm proud to call you my mate Good Luck for the future, whatever you choose to do will be a huge success.”
“Love Ya Lampsy ”
“LEGEND HERO INSPIRATION + THE BEST EVER”
Jody Morris, former teammate (current Chelsea youth coach) and great friend shared similar sentiments on his Instagram, calling Lampard an inspiration, a true professional, and a great friend, one who stood by him through thick and thin, on and off the pitch.
The list of teammates, friends, coaches paying tribute on social media was almost endless. Here’s just a few, with many more missing. Chelsea collected most of them into a Twitter Moment, which is worth checking out.
One of the best players ever to play the game! Congratulations to your incredible career! pic.twitter.com/RrDXThKzV1— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) February 2, 2017
And then there’s David Luiz who pays tribute in the only way David Luiz can.
David Luiz's tribute: "don't get too fatty ok?" pic.twitter.com/NeWZDaw2PZ— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) February 2, 2017
Chelsea official historian Rick Glanvill shared this wonderful personal moment on the greatest night in club history.
Cheers, Frank. We ****ing did it. https://t.co/CUu8y1Jws0— Rick Glanvill (@RickGlanvill) February 2, 2017
But this isn’t just about people connected with Super Frank. The whole world of football stopped to acknowledge his greatness, with tributes flying in from teams, competitions, and organizations.
Legend— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) February 2, 2017
Congratulations to Frank Lampard on an incredible career!
He's announced his retirement from playing, aged 38 pic.twitter.com/zzE0sFIctU
And so on and so forth.
But the one tribute that really highlighted just how good Lampard was came from none other than Barcelona, who used a picture from one of the greatest nights in our history ... and one of the worst in theirs.
Football is filled not only with rivalries, but also with indelible memories. Thanks, Frank Lampard, for your contributions to the game! pic.twitter.com/r64JyTgvPM— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 2, 2017
Last but not least, here’s Chelsea TV’s tribute from 2014 after Lampard had played his final match for the club.
Ok, final-final. Read this. In his own words.
In 2005 Frank Lampard won Footballer of the Year. His speech was so good, it was just published as spoken https://t.co/DWoKmD5YyD— Sid Celery (@sidcelery) February 3, 2017
And yes, I realize I hadn’t even mentioned Harry Redknapp and Scott Canham. But no story of Frank is truly complete without that background, is it?
“But what about Scott Canham?” Good luck to Frank Lampard in his retirement pic.twitter.com/o8fnY34Ca3— Oliver Todd (@oliver_todd) February 2, 2017
Right. To. The. Very. Top.