Lampard scoops record third Chelsea gong

LONDON - Frank Lampard has been named Chelsea's Player of the Year for a record third time.

The England midfielder is the first player to win the accolade three times, the English Premier League club said on Friday.

Winner in 2004 and 2005, Lampard was again voted leading performer over the season by Chelsea fans.

The award was some consolation for the midfielder who, despite what he describes as his best season to date, failed to win awards from the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) or Football Writers' Association.

"It feels great because of the amount of top quality players who have won this award," Lampard told Chelsea's website.

"When I came here I never expected to win it three times at all, I just wanted to establish myself, but getting this award and the recognition from your own fans is a huge thing in football. I am absolutely delighted."

Chelsea head to Wembley on May 30 to play Everton in the FA Cup final and Lampard is eager to send off popular outgoing manager Guus Hiddink with silverware.

"I don't feel any pressure from the outside to do well in the FA Cup, I feel we have an inner pride to try to do well in it," he told Chelsea magazine this month.

"It's a great competition and how it feels to win it is evident. Everyone knows that and we have had great success in it.

"For me it's not hard to keep driven because I want to succeed in football. I'm driven to stay at the top for a long time and to get even better. Complacency for me is not a problem. Some people might find it hard to avoid, but I don't."

Defender Ashley Cole was awarded Chelsea Players' Player of the Year while a Michael Essien volley at home against Barcelona was voted the fans' Goal of the Season.

It was the second time in three years the Ghanaian has won the accolade.

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