Quality statement from a quality player and man. He was awesome for us and clearly has fond memories of his time with us. Thanks for everything and good luck for the future Rickie. Perhaps you can come and coach our fowards?
Hero, legend, and my favourite Saints player**.
Probably the right time for him, been sad to see him fade into obscurity since he left us, not that I could blame him for taking that move.
**I wasn’t really into Saints when MLT was about, so you’ll have to forgive me this.
Just posted our farewell on our FB Page.
What a man, what memories.
Thank you SRL
He will always be a Saints’ legend from those dark times when Marcus saved the club.
Our best signing ever when you consider the effect he had on the club over the following seasons. Every step up saw Rickie make the same step, when people doubted him, he proved them wrong.
Great footballer and a gentleman. When the game needs genuine role-models he gave Saints the perfect answer.
Sad day…I hope we can find a place for him at the club.
It’s a term thrown around too freely, but Rickie is a legend.
He was such an important part of a very special journey which we won’t see again (hopefully!)
His graduation to the England team was the icing on the cake and his dignity when he left was a lesson that most others have ignored, to their peril.
Bye Rickie, we come from League One, you took us to the Premier League - and we still love ya.
Top man. Deservedly takes his place with the legends at Saints.
Not Saints directly, buy one of my favourite moments in football was his goal against Scotland (first touch of the ball in his debut if I remember right).
I still think he could have done a nice big full-page spread of himself in the Echo when he left us, but some people just don’t have that natural class.
Goodbye Sir Richard of Lambert, and may your journey into coaching mean you pass our way once again.
We could do with getting him back in the club.
To replace Sammy Saint as official mascot?
Don’t be mean…
He could certainly show our players where the Onion Bag is and how to get the pig’s bladder into it!
Number 19 is my favourite.
I dunno… 14 was pretty special…
When he kicked a ball it stayed kicked didn’t it. Some of those free kicks would be in the worlds best if Ronaldo or Messi had taken them.
I’ll repost our favourite SRL story.
On the night he was due to make his debut for England, our “Krew” decided to head down to Barasti to watch an England game - something unheard of for us.
Kick-off was close to midnight, the bar was busy, and everyone of us had a Saints Shirt or Branded Top.
I can’t remember much about the game, what I DO remember was some extremely drunk lads English and Jocks taking things beyond banter and reaching the “Leery” stage such that the giant Security guys stepped in with some warnings to them all.
Rickie comes on as sub - it’s a corner, I honestly think everyone of us said “he’s gonna score” - he does. I swear my fist hit the ceiling - hell, I am sure even Eric hit the ceiling. We went bloody nuts - as if WE had scored a late winner in a Cup Final.
Meanwhile things had turned nasty and some of the drunk English lads had been asked to leave. the Jocks who had been giving it large were emboldened. I actually thought we may face some “issues”
The final whistle blows, the most aggressive of the Jocks walks over to us…
And shakes hands, hugs us, and says - What a fookin fantastic story - that’s what fookin football is all about.
Then to our amazement, they went to the bar and bought all of us a drink.
THAT was Sir Rickie.
He was a Football Fairytale.
Happy Retirement, enjoy your time with your family, then get your coaching qualifications and become a legend again
I’ve been pretty busy this week, but it would be a sad thing if I did not comment on Rickie’s retirement, especially in light of his recent BBC interview.
I knew nothing about Rickie when we signed him, save that he was a massive statement of intent from the club. He’d scored goals for fun in the preceding season and there weren’t any other League One clubs laying down a cool mil on a star striker. I soon learned that he was a scouser, and had links in both Kirkby and Fazakerly. I always like having successful scousers at Southampton. It provides an instant rebuke to any of the quasi-racist knuckle draggers that said all scousers were this, or all scousers were that.
“Oh aye, how about Rickie?”, I’d say, and they’d be silenced, because like me, they knew how much this Liverpolitan had contributed to our rise through the leagues. During a period of injury, I remember listening to a Saints podcast in which one of the presenters talked about his absence. “Rickie is basically our front”, he said. And he was. Get a ball to the man, and not only would it normally stick to him, but he’d usually have something sensible to do with it. It was entirely fitting that both of our star number sevens never had a game based around pace. In the case of the venerable Matt Le Tissier, we got to see that man play his whole career at our club. We got Rickie late. His 30th birthday celebrations were probably already a twinkle in his eye when we signed him. He was no spring chicken.
What we did get to see was remarkable. Lallana and Schneiderlin rose through the leagues with Rickie and stayed until transferred, but they were always seen as potential Premier League players. Rickie never was, and got there anyway. That’s not a small feat. Lee Barnard was quickly discarded, Guly do Prado went his way, as did a horde of other players in other positions. It’s easy to forget that Rickie rose to every level he arrived at, largely because his legend seems carved in stone in the mind of the Saints fan.
I think that even Rickie would agree that football-wise, his move to Liverpool was probably the worst move of his life, even though it ticked a childhood dream box and landed him a lucrative contract. That comes through in his retirement statement, if you read between the lines. His problem was that Rodgers never knew how good he was, or what he could do, instead preferring to bung him on late in the game as a big lump. He never got the space to develop at Liverpool, and his career never got over it.
I don’t know if he’d still be playing for us today. I suspect not, but his game was never about pace, and some of his attributes have been hard to replace, penalty taking and free kicks for starters. There’s a big part of me that regrets he’s not coming through the tunnel, Maldini style, ready to dispense a bit of football genius at his own damn pace.
Happy retirement, Rickie. We were privileged to witness your journey.
I dont know if the story is true, but wasnt it so that Cortese tried to sell him to West Ham and that Kat stepped in and said no?
He will always be a Saints legend. Although we dont have a cupboard full of silverwear I will always be thankful that I lived in an era when Saints fielded the likes of Ron Davies, Mick Channon, Matt Le Tissier and Rickie Lambert.
That interview (Thanks for sharing Pap) is fantatsic - so honest and a rare thing for a footballer to admit mistakes he made (his move to Liverpool) and such genuine warmth and affection for his time at Saints. I also approciated his ‘Balanced’ perspective on nasty Nic… smart enough to recognise that an NC was what was needed to make our rapid rise happen, but that this would have a down side too in terms of his more ruthless traits.
But a real joy to hear such honesty. He is a geneuine down to earth, unspoiled by money and success footballer and human being who I am glad we cherish as one of our own and hold in such high esteem - he deserves it.