Former Bristol Rovers and Southampton striker Rickie Lambert will follow in the footsteps of Brentford's Kevin O'Connor when he is honoured with the prestigious Sir Tom Finney Award at the 2018 EFL Awards tonight. Playing for nine clubs – seven of which were in the EFL - and scoring more than 215 goals in over 600 games, Lambert played and scored in every division in English professional football; winning three promotions and personal accolades in a hugely successful 18-year career.
Those three promotions took Lambert from League Two to the Premier League within six years, including the honour of being named the Football League Championship Player of the Year in 2011/12, the year Southampton confirmed their promotion to the top flight, after scoring 27 goals to claim the golden boot. The 36-year old also lifted the EFL Trophy in 2010 for Southampton after a memorable 4-1 victory at Wembley Stadium. His success in the competition came just three years after defeat at the same stage with Bristol Rovers, although Lambert was on hand to open the scoring for the Saints to ensure there was no repeat of that day.
The Sir Tom Finney Award is presented to a player who has had an outstanding career and contributed an exceptional amount to the EFL and football in general. Brentford B Head Coach Kevin O'Connor took the prize last year. Kevin was honoured for his career with The Bees, which has now exceeded 20 years as player and coach.
The EFL Awards take place tonight, Sunday 15 April, at the London Hilton on Park Lane, when winners from across all three divisions will be recognised for their achievements both on and off the pitch, including the announcement of the Sky Bet Player of the Season for the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two. The EFL has revealed divisional winners and nominations for some of the prizes ahead of the event. Details can be seen here.