Frank Lampard has told the story of how a young “mouthy Scouser” called Jamie Carragher inspired him to improve as a footballer.
Lampard is currently without a club after leaving New York City FC after just one year in MLS.
The 38-year-old has no intention to retire just yet however, and is sure to have a number of Premier League suitors after establishing himself as one of the division’s finest ever midfielders with Chelsea.
Although Lampard now has a glittering reputation as a three-time Premier League champion, as well as a winner of the Champions League with Chelsea, he found it difficult to break through as a youngster.
In an interview with Jamie Carragher and the Daily Mail – and it is an excellent interview – the midfielder spoke of how he had failed to impress at an England youth trial in 1992.
Carragher begins by asking: “Do you remember when we first met at the Lilleshall trials in 1992? I played up front then.
I knew about you because my dad had told me about the goal your dad scored for West Ham in the 1980 FA Cup semi-final.”
Lampard replied: “We were 14 and stayed up there for a week, didn’t we? I went to private school and I was a little, chubby, shy kid. I remember being a bit nervous around everyone.
“I got the letter three weeks after the trial to tell me I hadn’t made it. I thought to myself, ‘How the f*** did that mouthy Scouser get through?’ I tell my daughters about not getting into Lilleshall now. It was massive.
“I remember being in West Ham’s youth team and seeing Jody Morris play for Chelsea at 17 and you scoring for Liverpool on your debut when you were 18. I was watching it on Soccer Saturday and I was like, ‘I can’t believe he’s scored!’
“It’s professional jealousy. It’s best to be honest about it.
“It gave me real desire. I was thinking ‘God I want that to be me’.”