"I've loved this club all my life. I left here 17 years ago − and I haven't stopped loving it since," said Rickie Lambert after moving from Southampton FC to home-town team Liverpool FC.
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England striker Rickie Lambert has joined Liverpool FC from Southampton FC for a reported fee of €4.9m plus add-ons.
Lambert, a member of Roy Hodgson's FIFA World Cup squad, returns to the club he spent time with as a youth player, having impressed on the south coast at Southampton. The Liverpool-born forward, 32, scored 106 league goals for the Saints, 28 of them in the top flight over the last two seasons.
"I can't believe it. I've loved this club all my life. I left here 17 years ago − and I haven't stopped loving it since," Lambert, who once worked in a beetroot factory following his release by Blackpool FC as a teenager, told the Liverpool website. "I have always dreamt of playing for Liverpool, but I did kind of think the chance of playing for them had gone. I didn't think the chance would come."
Prior to the beginning of the 2012/13 campaign, Lambert had never played Premier League football and spent his entire career in England’s lower leagues, much of it in the third and fourth tiers. Now he can look forward to representing his home-town club in the UEFA Champions League group stage next term as Liverpool return to the competition for the first time since 2009/10.
Lambert has scored two goals in four international appearances, his first having come three minutes into his England debut against Scotland at Wembley last August.