Thursday, August 15, 2013


.....rare though they are, when England footballers can lift the spirit.   Here`s one of them:-

No wonder they`re dancing in the streets of Southampton.

What was pleasing about Rickie Lambert`s introduction to the international scene was not just his footballing ability but also the story of how he got there  Here is someone who has done it the hard way (well, playing for the Saints it would be) but I imagine that his journey from putting lids on beetroot jars to national hero cult status has seen little change in his personality and his manner.   He is Roy of the Rovers writ large - no WAGs but a wife and three children at home;  no bling;  no tantrums; no daft goal celebration - just a celebration; and just getting on with being the best he can be, as his engaging post-match interviews confirmed.   

I don`t know why, but it all reminded me of two things;  first the sporting one, when David Steele came in to bat against the rampaging Aussies in 1975, with his spectacles and grey hair, with Jeff Thompson wondering whether it was Groucho Marx coming in to bat and with the commentator remarking that Steele looked more `like a bank clerk going to war.`   Of course, like Rickie Lambert, David Steele succeeded where others had failed and in his eight Tests achieved an average of over 47.  

The other thought I had was that Rickie Lambert avoided as many footballing clichés as possible with just the odd token one popping up, in marked contrast to others who seem unable to resist the latest cliché on offer, which I suspect might be, "Well, it`s up there." 

The origin of that particular example is interesting.    Back in the early 16th century, an Italian painter and decorator  by the name of Michaelangelo ("Ceilings a Speciality") finally completed a job that had taken him four years to finish.  The Italian equivalent of modern day touchline interviewers asked, "Tell me, Mike, how does this Sistine Chapel job compare with other ceiling jobs you`ve done?"

"Well, it`s up there," came the reply.

At least Rickie Lambert Southampton`s Goal Machine (RLSGM) didn`t resort to such mindless platitudes and we Saints fans could not be happier for him now that he`s `made up` and his `dreams have come true.`   Nice one, Rick.

1 comment:

Ray Turner said...

England should have taken Rickie to South Africa...