Childhood & Early Life
Rickie Lee Lambert was born on February 16, 1982, in Kirkby, England, to Ray and Maureen Lambert. Rickie grew up in a lower-middle-class household, with a father who worked at a warehouse. His mother was a homemaker. Rickie was one of the three kids in the family.
Even though he was raised in Kirkby, he was a huge fan of ‘Liverpool’ and dreamed of wearing their red jersey someday. He has played football almost all his life, since his childhood years. He also participated in the football games in his school.
He joined the ‘Liverpool Academy’ when he was 10 years old, in order to polish his skills. However, he was let go in 1997, when he was 15 years old. This came as a huge blow for the young dreamer, as his hope of beginning his professional career with ‘Liverpool’ was shattered.
However, instead of getting disheartened, Rickie worked hard. The following year, he found that the team ‘Blackpool’ was interested in him. He was 16 years old then and thus began his career.
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He joined ‘Blackpool’ in 1998 and played only in three games for them initially, before he was released by the team management as a free agent in 2000. For the next 4 months, Rickie found no takers. In order to make ends meet, he began working in a factory.
In 2001, he gained some hope when ‘Macclesfield Town’ named him on their team for a season. In the 44 appearances that he made for his team that season, he only managed to score 8 goals. It was a below-average performance by the standards of a striker.
In 2003, ‘Stockport’ signed him for 300,000 UK pounds. His performance improved significantly, and he ended up scoring 12 goals in the 2003–2004 season. This helped the weak team avoid relegation. In the next season, too, Rickie performed well.
However, ‘Stockport’ was a weak team with no mentionable credits to its name. Rickie, in search of a better team, left ‘Stockport ‘in 2005. Soon, ‘Rochdale’ hired Rickie to be part of their line-up.
During his first season with his new team, Rickie performed excellently, scoring 22 goals in the 46 games that he played. However, the team still missed out on promotion. Nevertheless, Rickie’s good performance had him enter the good books of better clubs.
In 2006, the ‘Bristol Rovers’ acquired Rickie. However, it took Rickie months after joining the team to score his first goal in his first season. Most of the season was bad for Rickie and the team, but he did manage to score the decisive goal against ‘Hartlepool United’ that helped the team make its way into ‘League Two’ playoffs. The team ended up winning a promotion to ‘League One’ later.
By the 2007–2008 season, Rickie had built a reputation of being one of the strongest strikers on the team. He played every game for his team, scoring 19 goals in total. The lack of merit at ‘Bristol’ could be gauged by the fact that despite performing below average, he turned out to be the highest scorer for his team by the end of the season.
However, the next season was a total change for both Rickie and the team. Rickie emerged as the joint top-scorer in ‘League One.’ It also ensured his place on the ‘League One PFA Team of the Year.’ His team secured the 11th position. He made national waves, scoring all 4 goals against ‘Southend United’ in a 4–2 win. He also scored a hat-trick in a game against ‘Hereford United.’
By 2009, Rickie had proved his mettle as a striker and was thus signed by ‘Southampton.’ The team had just been relegated to ‘League One.’ After the end of his first season with the team, Rickie came out as the top scorer for the team, with 36 goals in all competitions. The club ended their year at the 7th spot.
Rickie was honored with a place on the ‘PFA League One Team of the Year.’ He also won the ‘PFA Fans’ Player of the Year’ trophy. By the end of the 2010–2011 season, he once against finished as the top scorer for the team. That year, Rickie signed another contract with the team. It was valid until 2014.
In 2014, he finally realized his childhood dream when he was signed by ‘Liverpool’ on a 2-year contract. In April 2015, he was part of the ‘Football League Team of the Year.’
He was released in 2015, and following that, he played briefly for ‘West Bromwich Albion’ and ‘Cardiff City,’ before being released. Following the 2016–2017 season, he did not find any team interested to sign him. He thus announced his retirement in 2017.