Rickie Lambert has completed his £4 million transfer to Liverpool from Southampton.
A boyhood Red, Kirby-born Lambert was a member of Liverpool's academy until his mid-teens, after which he found himself playing in the lower leagues for the likes of Macclesfield, Stockport, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers before finding success at Southampton.
He will provide some much-needed back-up to frontline strikers Luis Suárez and Daniel Sturridge and while he may have to contend himself with a supporting role from the bench at Anfield the chance to rejoin Liverpool and play in the Champions League was an opportunity he did not want to miss.
Lambert penned an open letter to Southampton fans thanking them.
What can I say…?
Southampton has been my life for the past five years, in which we have achieved all of our dreams and more.
First I have to thank Markus Liebherr for saving Southampton then Alan Pardew for bringing me to the club.
Thank you to all the staff involved in making me the player I am today. Without your knowledge and commitment I would not be here right now at a World Cup with England.
Thank you to all the players, past and present, who I have had nothing but good times and success with driven by our club captain, Kelvin Davis. I love every last one of you.
Thank you to the managers I have worked with – Alan, Nigel and Mauricio – and their teams for helping me and Southampton step up and adapt to every challenge that has come our way the past five years.
When I grew up there was only one club I loved. I can honestly say now I have two clubs which will always be in my heart and that is thanks to the Saints fans.
The people who support this club have been nothing short of amazing towards me and, when I look back in years to come, it will be the relationship I had with the fans here which will stand out the most.
Southampton have allowed me to realise a lifelong ambition by joining Liverpool FC and taking my family home. The five-year plan when I arrived was to get this club from League 1 to the top half of the Premier League. Against all the odds we have achieved that.
Now, under Katharina Liebherr’s leadership, the club has the chance for new plan, a new chapter, and I wish them all the success in the world.