Lee McCulloch

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Lee McCulloch
McCulloch Nov 2010.jpg
Personal information
Full name Lee Henry McCulloch
Date of birth (1978-05-14) 14 May 1978 (age 36)
Place of birth Bellshill, Scotland
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Defender / Central midfielder / Striker
Club information
Current team
Rangers
Number 6
Youth career
Rangers
Cumbernauld United
1995–1996 Motherwell
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–2001 Motherwell 124 (21)
2001–2007 Wigan Athletic 224 (44)
2007– Rangers 181 (48)
National team
2003 Scotland B 1 (0)
2004–2010 Scotland 18 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 February 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 3 September 2010

Lee Henry McCulloch (born 14 May 1978) is a Scottish association footballer who currently captains the Scottish Championship side Rangers.

McCulloch was capped on eighteen occasions by the Scotland national football team. During his career he has played for Motherwell, Wigan Athletic and Rangers at club level. He plays as either a central defender or a centre forward for Rangers but has also played as an attacking midfielder and winger during his time in English football.

Club career[edit]

Motherwell[edit]

McCulloch started his career as a forward at Cumbernauld United, having previously played at Rangers boys club alongside Barry Ferguson. He was spotted by Motherwell and signed for them in the summer of 1995. McCulloch went on to score 27 goals in 147 appearances after making his debut against Raith Rovers on 24 August 1996.[1] He scored his first and second goals in a league match against Hibernian on 31 January 1998.[2]

After netting 12 and nine goals in consecutive seasons for Motherwell, along with some impressive performances other clubs began to take notice of the young striker.

Wigan Athletic[edit]

He signed for Wigan Athletic in March 2001 for £700,000,[3] a then club signing record.[3] Wigan at this point were plying their trade in the third tier of English football, but were strongly ambitious, and saw the young Scotsman as part of their long term plans. He made his debut against Swindon Town on 3 March 2001[4] and scored his first goal for the club four weeks later, in a 2–1 win away to Wycombe Wanderers.[5]

During his English league career, McCulloch found himself increasingly operating in a left midfield role, and this is the position he mainly played in during Wigan's first season in the Premier League in 2005–06. He weighed in with five league goals in thirty appearances, helping Wigan to a 10th place finish, and appeared as a substitute for Wigan in the 2006 League Cup Final.

In January 2007, McCulloch was the subject of a £750,000 bid by Rangers. It was turned down by Wigan and labelled "derisory" by manager Paul Jewell.[6] In May 2007, McCulloch told BBC Sport that he would relish the opportunity to play for Rangers, and the new manager at Wigan Athletic Chris Hutchings advised him that he may leave to move back to Scotland.[7] On 23 June, Rangers had a bid of £1.5m rejected with Wigan said to want £2.5m for McCulloch, who had scored 46 goals in 241 matches for them.

Rangers[edit]

2007–08 season[edit]

On 11 July 2007, Rangers revealed that they had agreed an undisclosed fee with Wigan for McCulloch. After agreeing personal terms and passing a medical, he signed a four-year deal later in the day with a transfer fee of £2.25m to join his boyhood heroes.[8] McCulloch started his Rangers career with a goal on his debut in a 2–0 victory over FK Zeta on 31 July 2007.[9] On 2 October 2007 in the 2007-08 UEFA Champions League, he scored the first goal, a header from a corner by DaMarcus Beasley in Rangers' monumental 3–0 victory at the Stade de Gerland against Olympique Lyonnais.[10]

On 23 December in a match with Aberdeen, McCulloch was sent off after 37 minutes after jumping at Aberdeen's Scott Severin as a mass brawl started, after Aberdeen's Chris Clark had scythed down Rangers defender Alan Hutton. McCulloch was the only player to be dismissed in the heated match. Later that season McCulloch played in the 2008 UEFA Cup Final, the 2008 Scottish League Cup Final and the 2008 Scottish Cup Final. Rangers lost the UEFA Cup Final but won a domestic cup double.

2008–09 season[edit]

In his second season at Ibrox, McCulloch was again plagued with injuries. However, he did also manage to play for the club at central defence and as a defensive midfielder.

2009–10 season[edit]

In the first game of the 2009–10 season McCulloch scored a long range goal against Falkirk in a 4–1 win. The following match he scored his second goal of the season against Hearts. A header from a free kick that equalised for Rangers before Kris Boyd scored the winner in the 89th minute. On 3 January 2010 in the second Old Firm game of the season, McCulloch scored a header from a corner to tie the game 1–1. This was McCulloch's first ever Old Firm goal. McCulloch has become a regular in central midfield as of 2009–10 season.

2010–11 season[edit]

On 12 August 2010, Rangers announced that McCulloch had signed a two-year contract extension, keeping him at the club until 2013.[11] His first game of the 2010–11 season came against St. Johnstone in which he set up the winner. McCulloch then went on to feature 27 times until it was revealed, after limping off against Hearts, he would require surgery to cure a cyst on his knee joint.[12]

2011–12 season[edit]

McCulloch’s versatility saw him play in attack, midfield and defence, and he hit a particularly good vein of form as a powerful striker as Rangers threadbare squad put together a decent run of results following the club’s entry into administration. His commitment to the cause was never under question, and he made it clear from the outset that no matter what happened to the club, he would be staying at Ibrox.

2012–13 season[edit]

The business and assets of Rangers, including player registrations, were purchased by a new company led by Charles Green.[13] While many players opted out of joining the new company, McCulloch was one of the few senior players who accepted the transfer.[13] Rangers entered the Scottish Football League Third Division, the fourth tier of the Scottish football league system. He scored in extra time to give Rangers a 2–1 victory against Brechin City in the Scottish Challenge Cup on 29 July 2012. McCulloch was given the captaincy on 1 September 2012 after the departure of Carlos Bocanegra to Racing Santander on a season-long loan[14] and on 31 October, he signed a contract extension with Rangers committing him until 2015.[15]

2013–14 season[edit]

On 12 March 2014, McCulloch scored a hat trick against Airdrieonians to see them win the League One title and gain promotion to the Scottish Championship with eight games remaining.[16]

2014–15 season[edit]

International career[edit]

McCulloch earned his first international call-up to the Scotland national side in 2004, under the then manager Berti Vogts, and made his debut as a late substitute in a 1–1 draw with Moldova,[17] a match which transpired to be Vogts' last match as manager. After the appointment of Walter Smith in 2004, he featured in the squad intermittently. He was involved in Smith's first three matches as manager against Italy, Moldova and Belarus and was included in the Kirin Cup matches against Bulgaria and Japan. He played in Scotland's famous 1–0 win over France in October 2006[18] and then in the equally famous reverse fixture, which Scotland also won 1–0.[19]

He scored his first international goal in Scotland's Euro 2008 qualifying win over Ukraine.[20] It was the second goal in a 3–1 victory at Hampden Park in October 2007.

McCulloch retired from international football on 8 September 2008 as he wanted to concentrate on his club commitments.[21] McCulloch was recalled to the national team following the appointment of Craig Levein and he made his first appearance since 2008 in a qualifier against Lithuania in September 2010.[22]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first.
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 13 October 2007 Hampden Park, Glasgow  Ukraine 2–0 3–1 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying

Career statistics[edit]

As of 5 February 2014
Club Season League Cup League Cup Other[23] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Motherwell 1995–96 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
1996–97 15 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 18 0
1997–98 24 2 4 0 2 0 0 0 30 2
1998–99 27 3 3 1 2 0 0 0 32 4
1999–2000 30 9 4 2 1 1 0 0 35 12
2000–01 26 7 1 1 2 1 0 0 29 9
Total 124 21 15 4 7 2 1 0 147 27
Wigan Athletic 2000–01 10 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 11 3
2001–02 34 6 1 0 0 0 1 0 36 6
2002–03 38 6 1 0 2 0 0 0 41 6
2003–04 41 6 1 0 3 1 0 0 45 7
2004–05 42 14 0 0 1 0 0 0 43 14
2005–06 30 5 1 0 4 0 0 0 35 5
2006–07 29 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 30 5
Total 224 44 5 1 10 1 2 0 241 46
Rangers 2007–08 22 3 6 2 3 0 15 2 46 7
2008–09 12 0 4 0 2 0 2 0 20 0
2009–10 34 5 4 0 3 1 6 1 47 7
2010–11 21 0 1 0 3 1 5 0 30 1
2011–12 26 5 0 0 1 0 3 0 30 5
2012–13 28 17 3 2 4 5 3 2 38 26
2013–14 34 17 6 0 1 0 5 1 46 18
2014–15 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
Total 178 47 24 4 17 7 40 6 259 64
Career Total 526 112 44 9 34 10 43 6 647 137

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Wigan Athletic
Rangers

Personal awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Raith 0–3 Motherwell" Soccerbase, 26 April 2008
  2. ^ "Motherwell 6–2 Hibernian" Soccerbase. 26 April 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Well duo sign for Wigan". BBC Sport. 2 March 2001. 
  4. ^ "Wigan 0–0 Swindon". BBC Sport. 3 March 2001. 
  5. ^ "Wycombe 1–2 Wigan". BBC Sport. 31 March 2001. 
  6. ^ "Wigan snub McCulloch transfer bid". BBC Sport. 17 January 2007. 
  7. ^ "McCulloch would Relish Rangers move". BBC Sport. 23 May 2007. 
  8. ^ "Rangers seal McCulloch transfer". BBC Sport. 11 July 2007. 
  9. ^ "Rangers 2–0 FK Zeta". BBC Sport. 31 July 2007. 
  10. ^ "Lyon 0–3 Rangers" BBC Sport. 2 October 2007.
  11. ^ "Lee McCulloch signs Rangers contract extension". BBC Sport. 12 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Lee McCulloch ruled out for remainder of the season". Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Halliday, Stephen (27 June 2012). "Rangers newco: Lee Wallace stays but four more head for Ibrox exit". The Scotsman (Johnston Publishing). Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Lee McCulloch is the ideal choice for skipper". Evening Times. 
  15. ^ "Rangers: Lee McCulloch signs contract extension until 2015". 31 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Rangers 3-0 Airdrieonians". BBC. 12 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "Moldova 1–1 Scotland". BBC Sport. 13 October 2004. 
  18. ^ "Scotland 1–0 France". BBC Sport. 7 October 2006. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  19. ^ "France 0–1 Scotland". BBC Sport. 12 September 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  20. ^ "Scotland 3–1 Ukraine". BBC Sport. 13 October 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  21. ^ "Scotland 3–1 Ukraine". BBC Sport. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  22. ^ "Lithuania v Scotland Match facts". The Guardian. 3 September 2010. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  23. ^ Includes Europe and Football League play-offs

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Carlos Bocanegra
Rangers F.C. Captain
2012–present
Incumbent