Frank Lampard signs children's book deal

image captionLampard said he had been inspired by reading stories with his daughters

England and Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard is to write a series of children's books, publisher Little Brown has announced.

The midfielder, whose contract expires at the end of the season, will pen five books, called Frankie's Magic Football, for children aged five and above.

The stories will follow the adventures of a school boy, Frankie, his football-loving friends, and pet dog Max.

Lampard said the stories were "loosely based on friends and team mates".

The 34-year-old will publish his first book, Frankie Versus The Pirate Pillagers, in June, followed by two more this year and another two in 2014.

"I first had the idea of Frankie and his Magic Football when reading stories to my own children," he said in a statement.

"Sport and reading are two essentials for us at home, so I decided to make up my own football stories and adventures."

'Wacky adventures'

Lampard has two daughters, aged five and eight, with his former fiancee, Spanish model Elen Rivas. He is currently engaged to TV presenter Christine Bleakley.

The vice-captain of Chelsea FC, Lampard currently earns £150,000 per week. He started his career in 1994 at West Ham United, where his father, Frank Lampard Sr, had also played.

He has represented England more than 90 times, scoring 27 goals - but he may be best remembered for a shot he took in a 2010 World Cup match against Germany.

The ball crossed the line, and players and fans believed Lampard had scored a goal - but it was disallowed. The resulting furore prompted football's world governing body, Fifa, to investigate the introduction of goal-line technology, which was used for the first time in a Club World Cup match last December.

Lampard's book deal was brokered by Neil Blair and Zoe King, who also represent JK Rowling. They said the books were "full of loveable characters on wacky adventures" and destined for "great things".

He is not the first footballer to write fiction - Arsenal star Theo Walcott has written a series of children's books and former England manager Terry Venables co-wrote a series of crime novels.

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