Saints' striker Rickie Lambert has won many admirers during his career, and is winning even more in an England shirt.
There seems to have been a lot of love for Rickie Lambert, and not just for his two performances in an England shirt thus far.
Blackpool, Macclesfield Town, Stockport County, Rochdale, Bristol Rovers and Southampton and getting the call at the age of 31 doesn’t sound like the typical route into English football nowadays. Usually you get promising youngsters playing for a side fighting towards the top of the Premier League year in, year out as your typical first cappers.
Of course, England supporters want their man to do well leading the line, but there seems to be something different in the case of Lambert.
Is it the fact the story of Lambert’s career has a bit of fairy tale about it ?
Fairy tale stuff ? Maybe. Well earned ? Not many will argue that it is.
There’s just something about watching Lambert work so hard that seems to capture the imagination of supporters. He also comes across as a typical lad from Kirkby - down to earth and unassuming. Maybe it’s that aspect, or maybe it’s the fact that he obviously loves doing what he does – and it's expressed near enough every time you see him play football.
Maybe it just makes people believe that if you work hard enough at something, you can achieve an awful lot; maybe that’s what Rickie Lambert’s footballing career has epitomised.
Lambert is surely proof that nice guys needn't always finish last!
image: © dom fellowes