Faced with a potential emergency short-term move to Crystal Palace, Rickie Lambert has instead decided to retire from professional football altogether and with immediate effect.
The 35-year-old has been without a club since being released by Cardiff City at the end of the last season.
— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) October 2, 2017
A hero at Bristol Rovers and Southampton and nothing short of ‘thoroughly decent’ everywhere else, Lambert realised a succession of dreams during his career: play-off success, promotion up through the divisions, finishing top goalscorer in the Football League on no less than two occasions, signing for his boyhood club Liverpool, winning 11 caps for England and scoring over 240 goals along the way.
Looking back, it must feel like a fantasy. Lambert basically played his way from the beetroot factory, to the Third Division, right up to the upper echelons of the game, and that’s no mean feat. Not at all.
Here’s wishing him all the best in his retirement.