1. ITV Report

Lambert thanks Saints fans in open letter

Rickie Lambert, who has transferred to Liverpool Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

Saints striker Rickie Lambert has said the last five years at the Southampton club had seen them "achieve all our dreams and more." In an open letter to fans following his multi-million pound transfer to Liverpool, the player, who has been selected for the England World Cup squad said that he now had two clubs he loved - thanks to the Saints fans.

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."

– Rickie Lambert

He paid tribute to fans, saying they had been "nothing short of amazing." He described his move to Liverpool as the realisation of a lifelong ambition.

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.

– Rickie Lambert