“As a country we love the underdog,” said Lennie Lawrence. “The supporters recognised that he is a player who had dealt with many rejections but kept going and really made it the hard way.”
As well as being let go as a teenager by Blackpool and Liverpool, Lambert was rejected by England manager Roy Hodgson.
“We played Fulham in the FA Cup and we told Roy to have a look at Rickie,” said Lawrence. “He didn’t think he was quite ready and, at the time, he was probably right.
"But Rickie was always more than just a great goalscorer. He is intelligent, knows when to drop off, could keep the ball and make assists. At Rochdale, he used to take all the corners and free-kicks as well.”
Even after 103 goals in 196 games for Southampton, the England call-up for Lambert was unexpected.
Hodgson described Lambert as a “breath of fresh air” around the camp.
“He did so much for me when I was coming through,” said Oxlade-Chamberlain. “He is such a nice guy and a humble man. To see him get the winner was unbelievable. I was over the moon.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain said, “He’s a great threat from set-pieces, he can take a free-kick, he’s got a great first touch, he can hold the ball up really well and he’s got good technique with both of his feet,” he said.
“If you’ve got it, you’ve got it. I’m sure he’ll do really well in the league next season and I’d never say he’s too old. As long as he keeps popping up and scoring goals like that you’d always want to see him around.”
“It’s been a whirlwind, it’s been hard trying to be calm, not let it affect me, trying to be cool but obviously deep down it means so much to me,” said Lambert. “I don’t want to come down. I’ve tasted it now and I want more. If that’s my only call-up, then I couldn’t have wished for it to go any better.”
“I was anyway and I always have been dreaming about getting to a major tournament.”
England: Hart, Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Cleverley, Gerrard, Wilshere, Walcott, Rooney, Welbeck. Subs: Foster, Johnson, Cole, Jones, Smalling, Milner, Lampard, Defoe, Lambert, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Zaha, Ruddy.
Scotland: McGregor, Hutton, Martin, Hanley, Whittaker, Snodgrass, Morrison, Brown, Forrest, Maloney, Miller. Subs: Gilks, McArthur, Naismith, Burke, Adam, Webster, Rhodes, Mulgrew, Bannan, Griffiths, Mackay-Steven, Dorrans, Conway, Boyd, Greer, Hammell, Marshall.
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)
Buy World Cup 2014 tickets, Germany v Austria Tickets, Scotland v Belgium Tickets, ngland v Moldova Tickets, Switzerland v Iceland Tickets