Former England striker Rickie Lambert has announced his football retirement at the age of 35.
Lambert, who also played in the Premier League with Southampton, Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion, has decided to finally hang his boots from professional football.
In the span of 19 years, the former forward, scored 218 goals in 607 total career league appearances and he is known as the top league goal scorer in all English football this century.
In addition, he scored three goals in his 11 appearances for England and appeared at the 2014 World Cup.
Lambert has been without a club since leaving Cardiff City by mutual consent last July of this year after his contract was terminated.
Moving forward, Lambert played a total of nine clubs where he started his career at Blackpool, Macclesfield Town, Stockport Country, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers.
Here is the statement of Lambert about his retirement from football:
“I feel lucky to have been involved in this sport for as long as I have. I have had some ups and downs in my career, but to have represented clubs like Southampton and Liverpool and playing for my country in a World Cup were beyond my wildest dreams. Playing and scoring for England is probably my proudest professional moment and I will look back at every aspect of how I got there with fond memories.
“I would like to thank the fans of all the clubs I played for but especially Southampton where I enjoyed the, my best years as a footballer and had a special relationship with everyone connected with the club. Thank you to all the players I have played with and all the managers I have played for throughout my career, it was an honor to work with you all. Thank you to my family and friends who have always been there for me and especially my gorgeous wife Amy.
“I will be taking a break for a while to spend some quality time with my family just being a husband and father. In the future I hope to give back as best I can to the game that has given me so much.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Ghanasoccernet