Richard Lee (footballer)
|Full name||Richard Anthony Lee|
|Date of birth||5 October 1982|
|Place of birth||Oxford, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|2005–2006||→ Blackburn Rovers (loan)||0||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19.38, 3 November 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Lee came through Watford's academy, and became second choice goalkeeper after Ray Lewington's appointment as manager at the beginning of the 2002–03 season. He made his debut in February 2003 against Preston North End, after first choice Alec Chamberlain was rested before an FA Cup quarter final. He went on to make four more appearances that season.
At the beginning of the 2003–04 season it seemed like Lee may become Watford's first-choice goalkeeper, after he started many of the club's pre-season games. However he started the season on the bench and in a training session he broke his arm, and was out injured for a period of months. By the time of his return, loanee Lenny Pidgeley had established himself in the side, with Chamberlain as his deputy.
Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd's decision to loan Lee to Blackburn Rovers for the 2005–06 season was met with questions from many fans. Lee spent the season as third choice goalkeeper behind Brad Friedel and Peter Enckelman. Lee returned to Watford following the conclusion of the loan deal, with both clubs unable to agree upon a transfer fee.
On his return to Watford, Lee spent most of the 2006–07 Premier League season as backup to on loan goalkeeper Ben Foster, though he played in the FA Cup semi final against Manchester United as Foster was ineligible to play against his parent club.
At the beginning of the 2007–08 season, Lee again found himself as backup as during the close season Mart Poom had been signed from Arsenal. Lee was eventually given his chance in the first team and managed to dislodge Poom and establish himself as Watford's first choice keeper. He was also given the responsibility of captaining the side for a time.
On 31 May 2010, Lee signed for Brentford on a two-year contract. Following poor form in pre-season, Lee was forced to wait for his chance in the league in the team, as Simon Moore and then loanees Alex McCarthy and Ben Hamer were selected ahead of him. However, after starting his first league game of the season against AFC Bournemouth in November 2010, he cemented his place in the side. On 14 December 2010, Lee made a hat-trick of saves in a penalty shoot-out against Charlton Athletic, taking Brentford into the Area finals. He missed the end of the season and an appearance in the final of the Football League Trophy at Wembley Stadium due to a shoulder injury. In spite of these set-backs, he was named Player of the Season 2010–11 by Brentford's young supporters (the "Junior Bees"). At the start of the 2011–12 season, he was named as Brentford vice-captain by new manager Uwe Rosler.
- As of 18 March 2013.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
As a player
On 31 August 2006, Lee appeared on the BBC programme Dragons' Den, where he and a partner managed to sell 50% of the equity in their company "Dr. Cap" to the entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne for an investment of £150,000. Ultimately the investment deal collapsed.
In January 2012, Lee's book "Graduation: Life Lessons of a Professional Footballer" was published. Written by Richard Lee, Graduation charted his move from Watford and his subsequent 2010–11 season at Brentford. As of March 2013 he is studying for a degree in the media.
2. Richard Lee, Graduation: Life Lessons of a Professional Footballer, Bennion Kearny, 2012, ISBN 978-0-9570511-2-6
- Richard Lee career stats at Soccerbase
- Richard Lee official site
- Richard Lee profile at watfordfc.co.uk