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09 aug 00:02
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Rickie Lambert celebrates England call and new arrival

Rickie Lambert struggled to describe his emotions after earning his first England call-up just a few hours after his wife gave birth.

Lambert and his wife dashed to hospital at 2am on Thursday morning and two-and-a-half hours later the Southampton striker became a dad for the third time.

The birth of his first daughter Bella Rose was not to be the only momentous thing to happen to the 31-year-old Southampton striker, however.

The Football Association rang Southampton around midday to inform them that Lambert had been included in Roy Hodgson's 25-man squad for next week's friendly against Scotland and they relayed the message to a gobsmacked Lambert soon after.

"It's been a special day and I'm trying to absorb what's happened," Lambert told Southampton'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 said: "For most of my career I didn't think it'd ever happen but, for the last year or so, I thought there might be a slight chance so to get the call-up has been a dream come true.

"I'm over the moon just to be involved, but I want to make a claim and show that I'm here for the future," he continued. "Obviously I understand my age means I'm not going to be there for the long term, but I am hoping that I can bring something to the squad over the next year or so.

"I am just concentrating on being at the top of my game, and if I can help [England] then that'll be brilliant." 

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