Scotsman Paul Lambert became a successful soccer manager after a Hall of Fame playing career with St. Mirren, Borussia Dortmund and Glasgow Celtic.
Born on August 7, 1969, in Glasgow, Scotland, Paul Lambert became one of Scotland's most accomplished professional soccer players. He enjoyed an early taste of success as a member of the 1987 Scottish Cup winner St. Mirren, and also won championships with Glasgow Celtic and Borussia Dortmund. Lambert went on to a managerial career, enjoying his greatest victories with Norwich City.
Paul Lambert was born on August 7, 1969, in Glasgow, Scotland, and grew up in the town of Linwood. His dad, Billy, was a roof tiler who previously worked for Glasgow's Celtic Football Club, and Lambert grew up a fan of the team. After developing his footwork on the streets, he joined the Linwood Rangers Boys' Club youth team in 1980.
Professional Playing Career
Lambert moved into the professional ranks with St. Mirren in 1985. The midfielder tasted early success with the Buddies, who won the Scottish Cup in 1987. He remained with St. Mirren until 1993, then moved to Motherwell Football & Athletic Club for three seasons.
Lambert made the leap to German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund in 1996. Initially overwhelmed by the quality of competition and bigger crowds, Lambert played brilliantly at the end of the season. He was named man of the match in Dortmund's 3-1 victory over Juventus in the Champions League final, becoming the first British player to win the European Cup with a non-British club.
Lambert returned to his home country and spent eight seasons with Celtic, where he won four Scottish Premier League titles, two Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups. Lambert also logged most of his time with the Scottish international team during this period. He made his only FIFA World Cup appearance in 1998, and overall earned 40 caps in international play.
Looking to transition to the sidelines, Lambert earned his Union of European Football Associations coaching badges with the German Football Association while he was still active with Celtic. He accepted a job with Livingston as player-manager in 2005, but resigned in February 2006 with his team performing poorly.
His playing career over, Lambert resurfaced as a full-time manager with the Wycombe Wanderers Football Club in 2006. He led the Blues to the League Cup semifinals that season, but resigned at the end of 2008 following another semifinal defeat.
Lambert spent one season with League One club Colchester United, then took over as boss of Norwich City shortly after the start of the 2009-10 season. After earning induction into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in late 2009, Lambert capped a triumphant season by leading the Canaries to the League One title and promotion to the Champions League. The club's continued success resulted in a second consecutive promotion at the end of the following season, to the top-tier Premier League.
Lambert was named the new manager of Aston Villa in June 2012. Although his team struggled and flirted with relegation for much of the campaign, its strong finish provided hope for the future for both the club and its young manager.