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

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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.