England v Chile: Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard honoured by link to England's 1966 World Cup heroes

The midfielder will captain the side in tonight's game

Frank Lampard is in the gold watch, or more accurately cap, stage of his long career. The 35-year-old's legs are going but there is, he believes, just enough left in the pistons to get him across the line in Brazil. Against Chile he is honoured with the captaincy to mark his entry three matches ago into England's elite 100 club, as well as the presentation by World Cup-winner Sir Geoff Hurst of a golden lid.

Lampard joked that he would call time on his 14-year international career on the spot were England to bridge the generations with victory on 13 July 2014. Don't laugh. Fanciful though that notion might be, it would make tangible a connection Lampard has felt to the World Cup since the infant years growing up in the West Ham bubble.

Lampard was raised by father Frank, who will join him and daughters Luna and Isla on the Wembley pitch for the presentation, on tales of the Upton Park nobility, of Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Sir Geoff winning the Jules Rimet Trophy, with a little help from their friends, for their country.

It was thought that Lampard and the "golden generation" to which he belonged might one day emulate their forebears. Still we wait. But dreams cost nothing and Lamps has his.

"It's funny, I don't really remember, but the manager [Roy Hodgson] was saying there were a lot of ups and downs en route to winning that tournament [in 1966]. I wasn't aware of that. The manager and certain players took a bit of stick in the build-up to that final, so nothing's changed." Smiles all round.

"I was fortunate enough to get quite close to Bobby Moore when he was alive and Sir Geoff and Martin Peters, all West Ham players who carried themselves so well and wore the fact they were World Cup-winners very well.

"That's something I always looked up to with great respect. That's why I was pleased when the FA wanted Sir Geoff to be involved [in the cap presentation] because of that link. And my dad knowing him and what an England hero he is. We can only use that as an inspiration.

"We know England haven't won anything of any note for a very long time, but there's no point looking back on failure. We have to look at the positives and the inspirations. Sir Geoff is one of those."

Lampard, in his troubled playing relationship with Steven Gerrard, has come to characterise England's tournament failings. Fine player though he has been, one of the most effective midfielders to grace the Premier League, his England experience has been negative when it mattered, never more so than in Bloemfontein three years ago when the goal that might have changed everything went unseen by the officials and Germany trod all over English ambition yet again.

"That probably was as low as we've been. Against such a great rival, and an emphatic loss in the end. It doesn't matter now what happened during the game. We lost 4-1. We took a bit of a beating, as you do, when we came home. The nation expects. We didn't do it, and we look at ourselves and agree with that. It's about coming back from those sorts of knocks at this top level."

This is Lampard's last shot. He has a friend in Hodgson, who likes his teams to have an experienced core, and if he stays fit he can expect to be on the plane. Not that he allows himself to be seduced by that reasoning.

"We're all in the same boat there. What we've done up to now carries a bit of weight, some more than others, but if your form isn't good enough in the next period of time, six or seven months until May when our season finishes...

"We all have to be on top form. I don't think it should be any other way. If I walked around thinking my 103 caps would get me on the plane, I'd probably be on the beach, because that means you're taking things for granted. I don't think any of us can afford to do that."

There is, as well as the ton of goals for Chelsea, an essential decency in Lampard that is universally recognised and deserves, you feel, to be rewarded in the manner we shall witness at Wembley. It is a pity that his talent for finding Premier League nets has not been mined by England. Given his achievements in the club game you have to assume the explanation for that lies deep in an England enigma that has claimed so many great players down the years.

"The cap has been a long time coming. I requested my dad be involved because there are not many international fathers and sons. It's the sort of thing he'd normally shy away from but with a bit of pressing he's managed to get out there. I think he will be a proud dad."

Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits