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Chelsea's Frank Lampard signs new deal: writing children's books

LONDON (Reuters) - English soccer player Frank Lampard is using his experiences on the field and at home with his own family to carve out a new career - writing children's books.

The 34-year-old midfielder, whose contract with London club Chelsea expires in June, has signed a deal with publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers to write five books for children aged 5 and over.

The first book in the series of "Frankie's Magic Football" about a schoolboy called Frankie, his football-loving friends, and pet dog Max will be called "Frankie versus the Pirate Pillagers" and released in June 2013.

Lampard said in a statement on Tuesday that he first had the idea for the books when reading to his own children at home.

"Sport and reading are two essentials for us at home, so I decided to make up my own football stories and adventures," said the England international, who joined Chelsea in 2001 and is the Premier League club's second highest goal-scorer.

"The characters are loosely based on friends and team mates I've played with over the years."

Two more titles, "Frankie versus the Rowdy Romans" and "Frankie versus the Mummy's Menace," are scheduled for 2013, and two more are slated for early 2014, according to The Bookseller, a book industry publication.

Lampard has two daughters with his former fiancee, Spanish model Elen Rivas, and is currently engaged to British TV presenter Christine Bleakley.

The publishing deal was handled by Neil Blair and Zoe King, who also represent "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Mohammad Zargham)

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