Macclesfield Town boss John Askey has revealed how he converted former midfielder Rickie Lambert into a future England striker.
Askey first worked with Lambert after he was dumped by Blackpool and told The Sentinel: "Rickie was a central midfielder when he came to ask if he could train with us after he'd been released by Blackpool.
"I was running the reserves at the time, as well as playing, and straight away you could see he had a lot of ability. He started doing really well.
"But he wasn't the best at getting the ball when we were not in possession. To me he always looked like a centre-forward.
"I got talking to him and he told me about all the goals he scored as a striker for Liverpool boys, we made the switch and he started banging in goals, especially when he went in our first team.
"He scored a hat-trick at home against Luton Town, started gaining attention and we sold him to Stockport County ... who went and converted him back to a midfielder!
"I kept saying to him that he was a centre-forward and when he was released by Stockport and signed for Rochdale, that's where he played."
Askey is delighted for Lambert over his emotional return to Anfield.
"We are all delighted for Rickie. He came here and played for nothing for a year and now he's probably a multi-millionaire.
"If he ever wants somewhere to throw some cash we'd be quick to pick up the phone!
"At the moment we just don't know whether the club is going to survive the summer. It's a different world, but we are very proud to see Rickie's progress."
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