Steven Gerrard praise 'great example' of match winner Rickie Lambert

The striker came off the bench to score on his debut and win the match for England 3-2

England captain Steven Gerrard believes Rickie Lambert's fairytale story from lower league journeyman to Wembley hero shows aspiring youngsters that anything is possible.

Lambert, a 31-year-old former Blackpool, Macclesfield, Stockport, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers striker made his debut in the 67th minute against Scotland last night, replacing Wayne Rooney, and, three minutes later with his first touch, headed the decisive goal in the 3-2 win.

"Rickie's a great example to young kids," Gerrard said.

"Any young kid watching, who is starting at the bottom, you've just got to believe and work hard.

"You can work all the way up to the top, make your debut and score for England.

"It's a fantastic story."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played alongside Lambert, who spent the early part of his career at a beetroot factory as he tried to earn a professional contract, at Southampton before moving to Arsenal.

"I'm absolutely delighted for Lambo," Oxlade-Chamberlain said.

"When I was at Southampton with him I was a young lad coming through, I remember how good he was to me and all the encouragement he gave towards me.

"The way his career has gone and the way he's worked up, he's such a humble man.

"He's the nicest bloke in the world. If anyone deserved that, Rickie Lambert deserved it. I was absolutely delighted for him."

Another former Saints forward anticipates Lambert can be a hit for England in future.

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott said: "When you come up the leagues it's so difficult.

"He's showed he can do it in the Premier League week in, week out.

"He's a different target for us. I think he's going to cause a lot of defenders a lot of havoc this season, for England as well.

"If he scores like that, it's something to look forward to."

Lambert savoured the moment and vowed to strive for more of them in international football.

"If that's the only moment I'm going to have in an England shirt - hopefully not - I couldn't have wished for it to have been any better," Lambert said.

"That's my first one. I'm going to try to make it more in the future. Definitely."

He added: "It was my first touch. It's probably the best header I've headed in my life.

"I saved it for the right time. It was a terrific ball by Bainesey, I managed to lose my marker and he put it exactly where I wanted it.

"I've dreamt for it to go like that for a long time and for it to have gone like that was a dream come true."

Walcott scored England's first goal, cancelling out James Morrison's opener, but suffered a blow before coming off in the second half.

He is optimistic of facing Aston Villa on Saturday, though.

Walcott added: "I had to come off with a little bit of a swollen knee.

"Fingers crossed. I'm going to rest my leg and hopefully it will be okay."

Walcott hopes to have an impact for Arsenal this term, now competitive action begins in earnest.

He added: "Everyone dreads pre-season. This is the most important time and this is a big year for Arsenal."

PA

News
US comedian Bill Mahr
people
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Sport
football
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Life and Style
Models – and musicians – on the catwalk in Dior Homme for the men’s 2015/16 fashion show in Paris
fashionAt this season's Paris shows, various labels played with the city boys' favourite
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us