Saints Legends In Pictures - Rickie Lambert
Friday, 17th Nov 2023 09:14
It's only 9 1/2 years since Rickie Lambert left Southampton Football Club and joined Liverpool, here we celebrated his 5 years at St Mary's with some pictorial memories, see if you can remember the occasions.
When 27 year old Rickie Lambert joined Saints on 11th August 2009, many Saints supporters knew him only as the man who had scored the late winner for Bristol Rovers 18 months earlier in an FA Cup shock that saw Saints knocked out in the 5th round of the FA Cup.
Liverpool born Lambert's rise up to the moment he joined Saints had not been very fast, nor had it been very high, starting at Blackpool he had made 3 sub appearances before being released.
Spending four months as a free agent before joining Macclesfield on a free transfer, he flourished in the third tier leading to a transfer to nearby Stockport for £300k.
But his2 1/2 seasons there would not be prolific, just 18 goals in 98 appearances and found himself at age 23 surplus to requirements again and allowed to leave for a nominal fee to League Two club Rochdale.
here he started to find his feet and in a season and a half at Spotland he would notch 28 goals in 64 appearances.
This caused Bristol Rovers to take note and they would spent £200k to take him to his first club outside of the North West, they were also in League Two but with ambitions of promotion in the upcoming 2006/07 season, they would achieve this, but Rickie was initially a slow started not scoring for 3 months.
They would eventually be promoted with Rickie scoring only 8 times, hopes amongst Rovers fans that he would step up to League One were not high.
In 2007/08 he would not be prolific in the League, scoring only 13 times, but as mentioned his FA Cup exploits brought him to wider attention with 6 goals in 8 games.
That seemed to give him confidence and in 2008/09 he scored 29 goals in 45 games which lead Saints to sign him for £1 million in August 2009 and did we spend a better million than this, so here we take a look at a few of his exploits in a Southampton shirt, he scored 106 goals in 207 league appearances spanning 2 promotions and 3 divisions plus another 11 goals in cup competitions.
Winning an England cap he was the hero that Saints had lacked since the retirement of Matthew Le Tissier whose number he wore, this was no coincidence, the first Saints CEO when Markus Liebherr took over, ( No it wasn't Cortese) told me that they were looking for a hero and they felt that Rickie was the man.
Sadly he left in 2014 to join his boyhood supporting club Liverpool, at 32 you could see he was slowing up, no one was begrudging his dream move, but there was disappointment that he didn't stay another year with clearly big things happening at St Mary's
Perhaps in hindsight this was a good move in that Rickie's legend wasn't tarnished with poor displays as he grew older, indeed in his three seasons after leaving St Mary's he would start just 25 League games across 3 clubs, Liverpool (7) West Brom (5) and finally Cardiff (13) and he would score just 7 more League goals.
So here are a few images from his time at Saints, see if you can name the years, the games and the results.
Photo: Action Images
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