Football: Lights out for former Chelsea and England midfielder Lampard at 38

 Footballer Frank Lampard said he would be retiring, on Feb 2, 2017.
Footballer Frank Lampard said he would be retiring, on Feb 2, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Former England and Chelsea midfield star Frank Lampard said he was retiring on Thursday at the age of 38, after turning down "a number of exciting offers" in Britain and abroad.

"After 21 incredible years I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer," Chelsea's record goal-scorer wrote on Facebook.

"I'm immensely proud of the trophies I've won, of representing my country over 100 times and of scoring more than 300 career goals."

Lampard did not say what he plans to do next, but said he was grateful to the Football Association for the opportunity to do his coaching badges, suggesting he may go into management.

Lampard left New York City in the autumn and also played for West Ham and Manchester City in the Premier League.

But it was at Stamford Bridge where he really made his name as a prolific midfielder.

He scored 211 times for the Blues and won every major club honour, netting the goals which in 2005 secured the club's first top-flight championship in 50 years.

"Of course, the largest part of my heart belongs to Chelsea Football Club, a club which has given me so many great memories," Lampard wrote.

"I will never forget the opportunity they gave me and the success that we managed to achieve together. It is impossible to give thanks individually to all the people that helped and supported me in my 13 years playing there.

"All I can say is from the day I signed until now and going forward, I'm eternally grateful for everything and to everyone. Chelsea fans gave myself and my team-mates such incredible support.

"Their passion and hunger drove me on personally to give my best year after year. I couldn't have done it without them."