This evening Rickie Lambert, is odds on to gain his first international cap against Scotland at Wembley aged 31, after 16 years in the wilderness, with an outside chance of boarding the flight to Brazil next summer for England. I see so many comparisons between myself and Rickie.
23 years ago today, I made my debut aged 29 against Wales for the Republic of Ireland. I had played in every division scored goals in every division and I wore the number seven jersey at club level and I had been overlooked for 14 years.
I genuinely hope Lambert gets awarded his first cap and hopefully he will have the guarantee from Roy Hodgson that if he proves his worth he will be in contention of being included in the summer and not a one cap wonder.
I recall big Jack Charlton during my very first introduction saying if you do well in the build up games you will be part of the World Cup Squad for Italia 1990. Thankfully I gave a good account of myself, scoring on my debut and Big Jack kept his promise.
I only hope Rickie has been given the same guarantee, after all England are not exactly blessed when it comes to prolific, talented strikers.
What Lambert did last season scoring 15 league goals in an average side and one of only two English players in the top ten goals orders speaks volumes.
Regarding tonight’s game England v Scotland. I hope Rickie gets an opportunity to shine, he grabs a goal and puts in a good performance, but I hope Gordon’s tartan terriers stuff Woys Boys, ha ha.
Good luck to Rickie Lambert.