|19 Nov 2020
One of the world’s best-known sports promoters and Old Brentwood, Eddie Hearn (1986-95), hosts his own podcast series for BBC Radio 5 Live – ‘No Passion, No Point’. On it, Eddie chats to some of the biggest names in sport, entertainment and business. This week (18/11/20), Eddie was joined by Chelsea manager and fellow schoolmate Frank Lampard (1989-94).
At School, Frank was the year above Eddie and both had similar life experiences, growing up in the shadows of their successful fathers. In this podcast they both take time to reminisce over memories of their school days, talk about the drive to succeed that took Frank to the top of the game, and his transition from playing into management in recent years.
A transcript of the discussion about Brentwood School is typed below, but you can listen to the podcast in full by clicking here.
Eddie: Looking back at Brentwood School, what do you look at your experiences as and what kind of kid do you think you were?
Frank: “I’ve got great experiences of Brentwood and I love the school. I think it’s a great school. It really holds a big place in my heart because however much I made it in the football world, I always talk to young players now about the importance of education. I certainly feel fortunate that my parents were in a position to give me that education, without a doubt.
As I grew up, weekends I would be playing football with my mates on a Sunday team, I had some local mates and my Dad was from Canning Town, which was quite a tough area, so he was very pushy, very driven with me.
So then when I went into school it was a different kind of a bubble. It was a bit softer in its way. It pushed very well in education and manners and trying to do the right thing. We’d sit in church and sing hymns around Christmas time and all that stuff. It was a different setting to what I had at home. When I look back, I actually feel a bit fortunate for that, because I saw both sides. I’m not saying my Dad and my parents didn’t make me act in the right way, they did, but it was just a different school of thought and a different school of education, so I got both sides I think.”
Eddie: I think we were similar – parents coming out of the East End – we were different from the others at that time at that school. You look at it now and it’s full of people like that.
But I remember I was brash. I actually look back at myself and think, ‘Bloody hell.’ If I went there now I’d actually want to give myself a slap, you know what I mean? And we were a bit different, a bit more ‘Jack the Lad’. We weren’t the normal kind of clientele at Brentwood School as well.
But the thing that fascinates me now is you were always a good player, but no-one ever expected you to reach the heights that you did, even at school. You know sometimes you just look at a player and think, ‘They’re just a genius.’ I always remember you staying after school, your old man would take you onto the field doing shuttle runs. I used to leave school and see you out there working.
Was that part of the mindset that he built into you? Was it always your mind-set to go on and play football? Because you’re well educated and I remember you were actually a good student Frank. You did a lot better than me, you actually had a brain.
Frank: I think you did alright as well. I agree with what you were saying about the ‘Jack the Lad’ thing. It’s funny, you don’t even realise that at the time. You’re a kid, you’re growing up, so you act as you feel you should do. I remember you showing out as that a little bit and being a bit confident. And I remember my sort of young, alpha male head going, ‘Yeah, my dad, blah blah blah.’
But I do think we were both pretty good boys and I think the school promoted that. I was a decent student, I didn’t find it easy to achieve A’s or whatever, but I was attentive, I wanted to make my teachers happy. That was the one good trait I had, I wanted to listen and try and do my best. So I got decent grades as I came out of school, and I feel like a good education.
But the football one, I agree with you, I didn’t ever feel like I stood out a million miles. I always played above my age. I remember getting in the First XI, playing with the U6th Form when I was in Fourth Year. I was a Left Back at the time so they kind of squeezed me in. But it wasn’t like I was dribbling past everyone and doing a million things. I was actually in the First XI at cricket before I was football. But I did have the work ethic, and when I look back I had a real desire to be the best. It definitely came a lot from my dad.