World of Sport

Will Frank Lampard become the next JK Rowling?

Frank Lampard (right) and fiancee Christine Bleakley

Chelsea star Frank Lampard has had football clubs from across the world trying to see if they can sign him when his contract expires in May.

But it seems that the England midfielder's next career move won't be to Tottenham, LA Galaxy or AC Milan: instead, the 34-year-old will turn his attention to trying to become the next JK Rowling.

Lamps has signed a deal to write a series of five children's books with London-based publisher Little Brown; the first of the books, 'Frankie Versus the Pirate Pillagers', will be published in June.

The stories will follow the adventures of a football-loving schoolboy called Frankie, (who has a magic football,) his equally football-loving friends and also his football-loving dog.

His agents Neil Blair and Zoe King - who also look after Harry Potter author Rowling - claim that the tales are "destined for great things" as they are "full of lovable characters on wacky adventures".

Lampard has two daughters, aged five and eight, with former fiancee Elen Rives, and he says he was inspired to write the tales - aged at those five and over - after reading bedtime stories.

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

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

As you might have guessed, the football superstar says that the stories are "loosely based on friends and team mates".

(Let's just hope not ALL of his team mates are included: we're not entirely sure where the various exploits of John Terry might fit into something aimed at under 18s.)

Lampard isn't the first footballer to move into the world of fiction: Theo Walcott has had a series of children's books for a few years, revolving around the adventures of a suspiciously Walcott-esque looking young footballer called T.J. (And yes, if you were wondering, Theo's middle name is James).

Then there is Terry Venables, who has co-written four crime novels with a writer called Gordon Williams - none of which are based on his days at any of Portsmouth, Crystal Palace or Tottenham, we should add - which became an ITV detective series called Hazell.

Pele also went into crime fiction, writing a book called 'The World Cup Murder' back in 1988 that is now, sadly, out of print.

And finally, spare a thought for Steve Bruce who put himself out there with two novels called 'Striker' and 'Sweeper', the latter of which got a rather unkind - but very, very funny - reception from critics such as this.