Rickie Lambert called to England squad just hours after becoming father | inside World Soccer

Southampton forward Rickie Lambert enjoyed a double celebration on Thursday as he got his first England call-up just a few hours after his wife gave birth to his first daughter.

Rickie Lambert was the joint-top English scorer in the Premier League last season
Rickie Lambert was the joint-top English scorer in the Premier League last season

Photo: Getty Images

At 4:30 on Thursday morning, his wife Amy gave birth to the fourth little Lambert, a girl they named Bella Rose.

And Lambert's day was made all the sweeter with news of his unexpected call-up coming via a phone call hours later.

The 31-year-old has been named in Roy Hodgson's England squad for next Wednesday's friendly against Scotland at Wembley Stadium.

"It's been a special day and I'm trying to absorb what's happened," Lambert told his club's website.

"It's hard to describe how I'm feeling, if I'm being honest. Today has been a bit of a blur because there are a few things that have happened in my life and I'm trying to take them in.

"I was obviously already over the moon about the birth of my daughter – she was born at half-past-four this morning, and she's doing fine and so is the mother.

"And I'm absolutely delighted to be involved with England. It's the dream I've been fighting for and hoping for all my life.

"I don't think I'll be forgetting this (day) any time soon."

Lambert's elevation to the England squad is unusual given he has only played one season of top-flight football and prior to Southampton represented Bristol Rovers, Rochdale, Stockport County, Macclesfield Town, and Blackpool in the lower leagues.

"I think if a man has really worked as hard over the years to prove his worth as Rickie Lambert, I think he really deserves this call-up," Hodgson explained about Lambert's call-up.

Lambert has been rewarded with his first international call-up after his 15 goals made him the Premier League's top English goalscorer last season, along with Frank Lampard.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino added: "I am very pleased for Rickie. It is always an honour for a player to represent their country.

"This call-up is the result of his hard work over the course of the four years he has spent at Southampton.

"This is something for the entire club to be proud of, as the work we are doing at Southampton is being recognised on a national level."