One-nil down to Aston Villa with 30 minutes to go. Chelsea needed the points if they hoped to make Champions League football next season. Hazard played the ball across the goal to Frank Lampard, who pushed the ball away from the Villa defenders and hit it towards the goals.
A slight deflection gave the keeper no chance of stopping Lampard’s 202nd Chelsea goal. Lampard is now joint top scorer of all time for Chelsea, a record set by Bobby Tambling.
With minutes left to play, Chelsea holds possession on the right wing and fling the ball across the mouth of the goal. Where who-but Frank Lampard is standing to cool-as-you-like tap the ball into the back of the bet.
With 203 goals to his name the Chelsea legend runs to the corner and slides on his knees to the flag, arms raised to the cheering fans. Move over Bobby Tambling, there is a new top scorer at Stamford Bridge. But before we dismiss Tambling so easily, let’s have a look at his exceptional career.
In 12 seasons for the Blues, Bobby Tambling set an impressive number of records for the club. Tambling is the only Chelsea to play to score 5 goals in a single league match. He was the first Chelsea player to score in an FA Cup Final, the club’s youngest captain, and was the Chelsea’s top goal scorer for 43 years.
Tambling’s first goal for Chelsea came upon his debut at the age of seventeen. It was not until Jimmy Greaves departed for Italy that Tambling was moved from the wing to the striker position, and the goals started to flow.
Tambling was announced as Captain for the 1962-63 season, and with 35 goals he led the team to promotion into the top-flight. With 19 goals from 38 matches in the 1963-64 season, Tambling led Chelsea to a fifth position finish in the first division.
Chelsea finished in third place the next season, with Tambling scoring 25 goals. Chelsea won the 1965 League Cup with Tambling scoring in the final over Leicester City.
After suffering from injuries, Tambling found his position at the club under-threat from the likes of Peter Osgood and Tommy Baldwin. Tambling eventually departed Chelsea for Crystal Palace in 1970. The striker retired from professional football in 1979.
He was announced in Chelsea FC’s team of the century alongside Gianfranco Zola and Peter Osgood in attack. And the player positioned behind Tambling in the attacking-midfield role was Frank Lampard.
“If you take what Frank has done personally and then add in what Chelsea have done as a team in the last 10 years, he must surely go down not just as one of the greats but probably the greatest player Chelsea has had,” Tambling was quoted by the Telegraph.
He admitted if anyone was to break his record, he is glad it was Lampard. “You couldn’t meet a nicer guy and he’s the best player Chelsea has probably ever produced.”
Lampard’s contract is yet to be extended, and it seems increasingly likely he will depart Stamford Bridge in the summer. What a fitting way for the Blues legend to end his Chelsea career.