From beetroot to Wembley: The rise of Rickie Lambert

Striker Rickie Lambert scored with the first touch of his international career to give England victory over old rivals Scotland at Wembley last night, completing a fairytale journey to British football's pinnacle that began in a Merseyside beetroot factory.

We chart Lambert's rise to the top:

  • Lambert is rejected by hometown club Liverpool at 15, then released by Blackpool at 18
  • Unable to find a club, he takes a job putting the lids on jars of beetroot
  • Lambert eventually signs for Macclesfield and later finds success in the lower leagues with Stockport, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers
  • The striker's good form earns him a £1 million move to Southampton
  • At the age of 29, Lambert reaches England's second tier for the first time as the Saints win promotion
  • Southampton are then promoted to the Premier League at the first attempt and Lambert is a surprise package - scoring 15 goals
  • He earns a call-up for England's match against Scotland, saying he is "playing it cool but really excited"
  • The 31-year-old makes his debut as a 66th-minute substitute - moments later he scores with his first touch to give England a 3-2 win.
  • Lambert says: "I've been dreaming of it my whole life."

Watch Rickie Lambert's dream debut on the ITV Football site


Lambert 'dreamed' of debut goal

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert said his England debut goal was a moment he had been "dreaming of" his whole life. Lambert scored with his first touch as England beat Scotland 3-2 at Wembley.