London, Oct 3: Former Liverpool and Southampton striker Rickie Lambert has announced that he is hanging up his boots, closing the door on a career that spanned for nineteen years boasting a total of 241 goals.
The 35-year-old striker described playing for Liverpool, his childhood club, and Southampton as 'beyond my wildest dreams'.
The forward has been a free agent after he was let go by Cardiff City earlier this year, leaving rumours to circulate that struggling Crystal Palace had enquired about his fitness.
Lambert made 19 appearances for Cardiff after arriving in August 2016 and scored for the Bluebirds four times, but was plagued by injuries most of the time and was left out of their plans for this season.
Just last week, struggling Crystal Palace expressed an interest in him, with Roy Hodgson keen to sign the striker who he had given his first England cap to.
In a statement announcing his retirement, Lambert reflected on his times playing for England and cited that scoring for England was his proudest professional moment.
Lambert scored three goals for the national team in 2013 and 2014 and has 11 England caps to his name.
It was the England exposure, during the 2014 World Cup, that led to the striker's move to Anfield to play for his boyhood club Liverpool, the same club that released him as a youngster.
Prior to signing for Liverpool, Lambert achieved his dream of playing in the Premier League when he signed for Southampton. He will be remembered forever at St. Mary’s as a Southampton legend who brought them back to the Premier League.
Lambert has said that he enjoyed his best years as a footballer at St Mary's and had a 'special relationship with everyone connected to the club'.
The striker hangs up his boots after making appearances for nine clubs in the top four divisions, he spent the majority of his career in the lower leagues but boasts 701 games as a professional footballer.