Bradford City skipper Jones thrilled for former team-mate Lambert (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford City skipper Gary Jones thrilled for former Rochdale team-mate Ricky Lambert
Gary Jones was not surprised to see his old pal Ricky Lambert score with his first touch for England.
Lambert is the talk of football after his stunning arrival on the international scene against Scotland on Wednesday.
Jones played in the same Rochdale team for two seasons – managed by City number two Steve Parkin – and was chuffed to bits to see him head the winner. When Lambert rose highest to power home a corner, it did not come as a shock for the Bantams skipper.
Jones joked: “When we were at Rochdale, we had some on-going banter that Ricky had the biggest head in football. When that cross came in, I knew he couldn’t fail to score!
“On a serious note, it’s absolutely fantastic. I was glued to the telly screen and when he came on it was a proud moment.
“It couldn’t have happened to a nicer lad.
“He had all the ability at Rochdale and the way he has taken it through the leagues is quite phenomenal.
“Steven Gerrard summed it up when he said that kids growing up should look at Ricky Lambert. He started at the bottom and worked his way up.”
Lambert was an ever-present in the 2005-2006 campaign, scoring 22 goals, in a two-man frontline with Grant Holt. But Dale still only finished 14th.
Jones laughed: “That just shows you how bad the rest of us were! But I’ve played with some fantastic strikers and it’s great that those two have gone on to achieve big things.”
Jones is hoping for payback against Port Vale tomorrow after last season’s narrow tussles.
“It’s fresh in the mind because it was my mistake for their goal (at Valley Parade). We played really well twice against them but only got one point to show for it.”
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