Rickie Lambert wins EFL’s Sir Tom Finney Award for lifetime achievement

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RICKIE LAMBERT has been awarded the EFL’s Sir Tom Finney Award in recognition of his lifetime achievement in the game.

Former Liverpool and Southampton striker Lambert will collect his trophy at the EFL bash on Sunday to honour a career which saw him play for nine clubs – seven of them outside the Premier League.

 Rickie Lambert made the journey through all four divisions in England to become an England international

Richard Pelham

Rickie Lambert made the journey through all four divisions in England to become an England international
 Lambert was a hero at Bristol Rovers before he made a success of playing in the Premier League

PA:Press Association

Lambert was a hero at Bristol Rovers before he made a success of playing in the Premier League

The 36-year-old played more than 600 league games in all four divisions of English football, scoring 215 goals and winning three promotions.

The ex-Bristol Rovers forward capped a remarkable journey to the top when he was part of the England squad for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

The three promotions took Lambert from League Two to the Premier League within six years, including the honour of being named the Football League Championship Player of the Year in 2011-12 as his 27 goals helped Southampton to the top flight.

The Sir Tom Finney Award is presented to a player who has had an outstanding career and contributed an exceptional amount to the EFL and football in general.

 Lambert played for nine clubs during his career, including a spell at Macclesfield Town

Action Images – Reuters

Lambert played for nine clubs during his career, including a spell at Macclesfield Town
 Lambert finally proved himself at the highest level as he shone at Southampton

PA:Press Association

Lambert finally proved himself at the highest level as he shone at Southampton

Renamed in honour of the Preston and England legend following his death in 2014, Lambert’s talent, commitment and model professionalism throughout his career, both at domestic and international level, has been exemplary to those watching.

Lambert said: “The best years that I had were in the Football League. The best memories I’ve had were in the Football League.


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“Those stories and those memories made me the player I was in the Premier League.

“I learnt my trade at Bristol Rovers as a striker. The first season was just about getting goals, the second season went a little bit better and then the third season was when I knew I was the best striker in League One by some distance, and knew I was the best player in League One at that time.

 Rickie Lambert with his Sir Tom Finney Award for lifetime achievement from the EFL
Rickie Lambert with his Sir Tom Finney Award for lifetime achievement from the EFL

“I’m still coming accustomed to what I’ve achieved in my career to be honest. I was fighting for a contract when I was 18/19 and I just couldn’t get one.

“So to be sat here now 15 years later having played 600 games for the clubs that I’ve played for, I’m so proud.”

Lambert returned to his boyhood Club Liverpool in 2014 before spells at West Brom and Cardiff.

 He finally achieved his dream of playing for boyhood idols Liverpool

PA:Empics Sport

He finally achieved his dream of playing for boyhood idols Liverpool

However, a bad injury suffered in October 2016 took its toll and the forward announced his retirement from playing shortly after the end of the 2016/17 campaign.

The EFL Awards take place tomorrow at the London Hilton on Park Lane, when winners from across all three divisions will be recognised for their achievements both on and off the pitch.

The event will also include the announcement of the Sky Bet Player of the Season for the Championship, League One and League Two.

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