Rickie Lambert has just completed a fairy tale signing at his home town club Liverpool, and he was on their books until he was 15 years old. Rickie was born in the Merseyside suburb of Kirkby and was given his big chance at Southampton, when Alan Pardew signed him from Bristol Rovers when the striker was then 27 – and since then he hasn’t looked back and is in the England squad for the World Cup that kicks off next week in Brazil.
Rickie Lambert – after scoring for England on his debut against Scotland
It was his first touch of the ball in International football
Rickie is obviously delighted that his £4M move to Liverpool is complete and he has thanked people who have helped in his football career including Alan Pardew:
¨What can I say?¨
¨Southampton has been my life for the past five years, in which we have achieved all of our dreams and more.¨ First I have to thank Markus Liebherr for saving Southampton then Alan Pardew for bringing me to the club.¨
¨Thank you to all the staff involved in making me the player I am today. Without your knowledge and commitment I would not be here right now at a World Cup with England.¨ Thank you to all the players, past and present, who I have had nothing but good times and success with driven by our club captain, Kelvin Davis. I love every last one of you.¨
¨Thank you to the managers I have worked with – Alan, Nigel and Mauricio – and their teams for helping me and Southampton step up and adapt to every challenge that has come our way the past five years.¨ ¨When I grew up there was only one club I loved. I can honestly say now I have two clubs which will always be in my heart and that is thanks to the Saints fans.¨
¨The people who support this club have been nothing short of amazing towards me and, when I look back in years to come, it will be the relationship I had with the fans here which will stand out the most.¨ ¨Southampton have allowed me to realise a lifelong ambition by joining Liverpool FC and taking my family home. ¨
¨The five-year plan when I arrived was to get this club from League 1 to the top half of the Premier League. Against all the odds we have achieved that.¨ ¨Now, under Katharina Liebherr’s leadership, the club has the chance for a new plan, a new chapter, and I wish them all the success in the world.¨
This is what Alan said about Rickie before Newcastle game at Southampton earlier this tear – which turned out to be out worst performance all season and we were rightly hammered 4-0, and Rickie scores the Saints’ second goal in that game:
‘I think he would admit that perhaps his lifestyle let him down a bit and he liked a pint and a pie.” “I don’t think he would be embarrassed by me saying that.¨ ¨I had a couple of long chats with him about it.¨
“I remember when he arrived, saying, “I’ve just paid £1M for you, I’ve put my neck on the line and you better get that in order”. “But the player still needs to do it and he has. He certainly looks a meaner, finer-looking specimen now.”
While at Southampton Rickie has a tremendous record of goal-scoring of 117 goals in 235 games, and almost exactly one goal for every two appearances, which is what the great Alan Pardew achieved in his career.
Now we need Rickie to score some goals for England in the World Cup and he’s perfectly capable of doing that if manager Roy Hodgson gives him a chance.
And finally, we all need a boost at times, even when you are the under siege manager at Newcastle United.