Against the backdrop of disconnect in football, there’s something of a fairy tale to the Rickie Lambert story

When Rickie Lambert was unveiled yesterday as a Liverpool FC player, it felt as if something that had gone missing had returned.

FULL CIRCLE: Lambert back at Liverpool. Where he was released from 17 years ago.

FULL CIRCLE: Lambert back at Liverpool. Where he was released from 17 years ago.

The joy on the 32-year-old’s face had taken years off him. He looked like a kid at Christmas who had been given the ultimate Xbox-Play-Nintendo-Atari-Station as a present.

He had that same look of a child who believed in Santa Claus, and if there

ALL SMILES: Lambert holding his new strip.

ALL SMILES: Lambert holding his new strip.

was 32-year-old who had reason to believe that an obese white bearded man, who squeezes his ample rear down people’s chimneys so that he could gobble cookies and gulp milk, whilst leaving presents behind for the children – then Lambert is that person.

After all, Lambert was released at the age of 15 by his boyhood club

Liverpool and found himself working in a beetroot factory and playing at the bottom of the football pyramid.

Fast forward 17 years he has scored for the national team, landed a place in the world cup squad and now re-joined his beloved hometown club, having worked his way up the football pyramid.

THE FAIRY TALE: Lambert at LFC training ground Melwood.

THE FAIRY TALE: Lambert at LFC training ground Melwood.

Every time a fairy tale comes along, there’s the big bad wolf of reality that comes and blows that fairy tale away. You need not look further than Atletico v Real Madrid or Liverpool’s quest for Premier League glory this season.

But while Lambert has himself said there is no room for sentimentality in football. For those remaining working-class football fans who crave a release from the banality of their jobs, seeing a boy from a beetroot factory make his dream a reality is sentimental.


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Five football lookalikes

Ivica Olic

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Licenced to Thrill. Daniel Craig is just as apt at running through brick walls.



Let’s hope John McClane doesn’t mistake Daniel Sturridge for some luggage thief.


Luggage thief me sir? No. I’m an England international.



West Brom boss Steve Clarke insists he never played DCI Jim Keats in Ashes to Ashes.


Actor Daniel Mays denies ever putting a Scottish accent on and moonlighting as a Football manager.



Exposing police corruption isn’t his thing, after all he is an Italian Footballer. But bossing opposition mid-field’s is.


Uncovering police corruption was his thing. Serpico.



Adam Federici: Right that’s it I’m off for a burger. You guys are useless.


Man V Foot… er Food, Adam Richman hasn’t signed up as Reading’s second choice keeper despite rumours.

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