Former Stamford Bridge ball-boy Jack Cork reflects on Frank Lampard's influence at Chelsea

Jack Cork keeps a close eye on Frank Lampard
Jack Cork keeps a close eye on Frank Lampard

Burnley midfielder Jack Cork was a ball-boy at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard was in his pomp as a player.

Cork was on duty in the final home game of the 2004/05 campaign when the Blues were presented with the trophy after securing their first Premier League title under Jose Mourinho.

It was a 1-0 win against Charlton Athletic as Claude Makelele, who became Paul Clement’s assistant at Swansea City during Cork’s time at the Liberty Stadium, converted the rebound after goalkeeper Stephan Andersen had saved his late penalty.

Lampard had been pivotal to Chelsea’s success that year.

He was the club’s leading scorer with 19 goals in total as they landed a league and cup double and reached the semi-final of the Champions League.

Lampard, who netted 211 times in 649 appearances for Chelsea, winning 13 pieces of silverware during his time there, would go on to be named FWA Footballer of the Year that season and finished runner-up for both the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards.

Cork, a former youth team player at Chelsea, said: “I love going back to Chelsea. It’s a stadium that I didn’t get the opportunity to play at when I was at the club so I like going back there.

“I was a ballboy at the club for so many years, I played for the club and it was always a dream of mine to play at the stadium. I appreciate it every time I go back there.

“There’s nobody better [than Lampard]. When I was at the club they had the best English players and some of the best players in the world.

“There was Lampard, John Terry, Drogba, Ashley Cole, Carvalho, the players. the managers, everything they were doing was at the top.

“They invested in it really well and it was amazing to be a part of it. Frank was one of the spearheads of that, constantly scoring goals, dragging the team through hard games and he was a good person to look up to.

“I learnt a lot from watching him and seeing the work he put in off the pitch. After a training session he’d be running on his own, going box to box, and the commitment he put in was top.

“He’s a top professional, won everything at Chelsea, played at the highest level internationally and he’s done everything that he said he would do at Chelsea.”