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West Hams Jack Collison: My debt to Frank Lampard


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Jack Collison has thanked big-hearted Frank Lampard for consoling him earlier this season after he lost his father.

The gesture was all the more touching as the rookie West Ham midfielder and the Chelsea superstar barely knew each other at the time.

Collison, a product of the Hammers youth academy, was left devastated back in August when his dad Ian was killed in a motorbike accident.

Collison Snr had been on the way to see his highly-rated son play at home to Spurs when he crashed on the M25 near Epping.

The youngster played in the match unaware of the tragedy and - backed by the support of West Ham's fans, players and staff - went on to play again just two days later in the League Cup win over Millwall.

Among the welter of messages Collison received offering support was one from Lampard - another West Ham academy product - who lost his own mother Pat last year.

Collison revealed the message provided a huge source of inspiration as he battled to bounce back.

He said: "Frank Lampard is someone that I look up to. I never really met him before but he’s a great player.

"I had a text off him because he has been through something similar with his mum.

"He offered me some real words of support and I’ve just got to thank him for that because it was brilliant.

"It really helped me through a tough time to hear from somebody who has been through a similar sort of thing."

Collison, who has scored in two of West Ham's last three matches, insisted football, his close-knit family and his club have helped him to get through the toughest period of his young life.

He added: "I’ve got a lot of very good people around me. All the people at West Ham, they’ve been brilliant to me.

"All my family and friends – its been a big effort all around.

“Obviously I’m trying to be strong still for my family. Also the fans, they’ve been great to me as well. Its been a big effort and the football has been a nice opportunity for me to get away from things.

“I enjoy playing football and its been a nice release for me.

“My dad was massive for me. Obviously, like any young kid growing up my dad was the one who introduced me to football.

“He was the one who used to take me down the park on the back of his bike to kick a ball about. So he was massive and it’s a great loss.

"Now I’ve just got to get my head down and keep improving because I know that’s what he would what me to do. He’d want to to just keep getting better and better and now I am out there playing for him really.”

“Every time I go out on the pitch its for him. I know he is going to be out there looking down and telling me where I am going wrong.

“But I am going to keep going out there and doing it for him and I’m going to keep being strong for my family."

Mirror Football

That has to be once of the nicest thing ive heard in a while. For someone like frank who hasnt even met Jack before that is really kind, and as you can read it meant so much to him.

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