Football - Chelsea's Lampard lifts spirits of unwell Tambling

Chelsea's Frank Lampard took time out from celebrating his 200th goal last week to lift the spirits of an unwell Bobby Tambling whose club scoring record he is on the verge of breaking.


Tambling, 71, has been in hospital for four months battling Martorelli's Ulcer, a painful disease involving leg ulcerations.

Lampard grabbed his double century for the European champions in a 2-0 win over his former club West Ham United in the Premier League last Sunday and after the game he phoned ex-England forward Tambling to offer encouragement and support.

"It was so thoughtful of Frank to take the time to speak to Bobby," Tambling's wife Val told Reuters. "They were talking for about 20 minutes.

"He said Frank couldn't have been nicer to him. He told him to stay positive, to take his time and he would get better.

"Bobby has the greatest respect for Frank and says he is one of Chelsea's greatest ever players."

Tambling, who scored 202 goals for the club from 1959-70 and now lives in Ireland, occasionally travels back to west London to watch his old team although he has not been to Stamford Bridge since November due to his illness.

His wife said the new generation of players always treat Chelsea's record scorer really well.

"They make Bobby feel good and part of the Chelsea family," said Val. "He can't speak highly enough of Frank, John Terry and Ashley Cole especially.

"They are all always so kind and caring to him. They are fantastic every time we go over - it's good the young lads treat the older boys with such great respect."

Midfielder Lampard, who scored in England's 8-0 World Cup qualifying victory in San Marino on Friday, will get the chance to move closer to Tambling's record when third-placed Chelsea visit Southampton in the league next Saturday.

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