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Lambert’s Richmond return

Homecoming Hero: Craig Lambert Craig Lambert is Richmond's Homecoming Hero for the Round 7 match against Fremantle.
Craig Lambert of the Tigers comes under pressure during the 1992 round 17 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and North Melbourne.
Craig Lambert in action during the 1992 round 17 AFL match between the Richmond and North Melbourne.

Craig Lambert will be Richmond’s third Homecoming Hero for the 2018 season.

The Tigers are set to pay tribute to Lambert during the pre-game build-up at Sunday afternoon’s Round 7 clash with Fremantle at the MCG.

Lambert will walk to the Punt Road end of the ground, where he’ll receive due recognition from the Tiger Army.

He’ll kick a ceremonial goal, then sign the football and present it to a Richmond fan in the crowd.

Highlights of Lambert’s playing career with the Tigers also will be shown on the MCG’s big screens.

Craig Lambert was recruited by Richmond from then VFA club Dandenong, where he’d played at senior level for a couple of seasons. Previous to that, he’d had a brief stint with the Sydney Swans under-19s team.

Lambert spent his first season at Tigerland in 1987 in the under 19s and won their best and fairest.

He made his senior debut for Richmond in Round 1, 1988 against Melbourne at the MCG, as a 19-year-old, and ended up playing 21 games all-up that season in an impressive start to his league football career.

Under the coaching guidance of Tiger great Kevin Bartlett, the young, left-foot, long-sleeved, ‘ball-magnet’ midfielder thrived.

Lambert became a shining light in the struggling Richmond sides of the late 1980s-early 1990s with his creative play through the midfield.

He was an excellent exponent of handball, which he used to constantly provide opportunities for teammates.

His ability to fire out a pinpoint handpass to a teammate, despite being under immense pressure from opponents, was elite.

Lambert finished runner-up in the Tigers’ Best and Fairest in 1989, and went one better two years later, winning the 1991 Jack Dyer Medal.

Not only was Lambert highly-skilled, he was tough and brave, repeatedly putting his body on the line for the team.

And, he went about his football business in a totally professional approach.

Former Richmond champion key forward Matthew Richardson spent only one season at Punt Road with Lambert, but learned plenty from him in that short time.

“He showed me how to train properly. He was just that professional, and a top bloke, too,” Richardson said.

Lambert left the Tigers in late 1993 to join Brisbane, where he continued to produce fine football at the game’s highest level for several more seasons.

 

Craig Lambert profile

Born: 5/10/1968

Height: 178cm 

Playing weight: 84kg 

Recruited from: Dandenong (VFA)

Guernsey numbers at Richmond: No. 53 and No. 4 

Debut at Richmond: Round 1, 1988 v Melbourne, MCG 

Games at Richmond (1988-1993): 123

Goals at Richmond: 53

Honours at Richmond: 1991 Jack Dyer Medal winner