Lee Bradbury

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Lee Bradbury
Personal information
Full name Lee Michael Bradbury
Date of birth (1975-07-03) 3 July 1975 (age 47)
Place of birth Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Position(s) Striker, Right back
Club information
Current team
Eastleigh (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1995 Fivemiletown United
1995–1997 Portsmouth 54 (15)
1995Exeter City (loan) 14 (5)
1997–1998 Manchester City 40 (10)
1998–1999 Crystal Palace 32 (6)
1999Birmingham City (loan) 7 (0)
1999–2004 Portsmouth 99 (28)
2002–2003Sheffield Wednesday (loan) 11 (3)
2003–2004Derby County (loan) 7 (0)
2004 Walsall 8 (1)
2004–2006 Oxford United 63 (9)
2006–2007 Southend United 47 (5)
2007AFC Bournemouth (loan) 1 (0)
2007–2011 AFC Bournemouth 126 (10)
Total 509 (92)
Teams managed
2011–2012 AFC Bournemouth
2012 Portsmouth (youth coach)
2012–2019 Havant & Waterlooville
2019 Eastbourne Borough
2019–2022 Crawley Town (assistant head coach)
2022– Eastleigh
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Lee Michael Bradbury (born 3 July 1975) is an English former footballer and manager who made more than 500 appearances in the Football League. He is currently manager of National League club Eastleigh.

After retiring as a player, he spent 14 months as manager of AFC Bournemouth. After a seven-year spell as manager of National League club Havant & Waterlooville, he took charge of National League South side Eastbourne Borough in May 2019, but left in November 2019 and became assistant head coach at EFL League Two club Crawley Town.

Playing career[edit]

When he was an army recruit, Bradbury played part-time when on leave for Halstead Town under 18 side,[citation needed] and during the 1994–95 season Cowes Sports. Prior to this Bradbury had been a young player at local island side Plessey Sports FC, also based in his hometown of Cowes, Isle of Wight, playing alongside his father Michael. Bradbury also played for Northern Irish side Fivemiletown United while stationed in Northern Ireland with the army. Bradbury started his professional career at Portsmouth, where he played for three years. A number of impressive performances in the 1996–97 season resulted in interest from a number of clubs, and in July 1997 he was purchased by Manchester City manager Frank Clark for a club record £3 million. However, Bradbury struggled to make an impact at Maine Road, and at the end of the 1997–98 season City were relegated, with Bradbury having scored just six goals.

Three months into the following season Bradbury moved to Crystal Palace for £1.5 million. Less than a year later Bradbury was on the move again, returning to Portsmouth for £300,000.

Bradbury's career started to recover at Pompey, making more than 100 appearances in his second spell at the club. However, in the 2002–03 season Bradbury lost his first team place and was loaned out to Sheffield Wednesday. He returned from his loan spell to contribute three appearances and one goal (ironically against Sheffield Wednesday) to Portsmouth's title run-in as they won the First Division title and promotion to the Premier League.[2] The following season he was loaned to Derby County before being sold to Walsall in March 2004 (where he scored once against former club Derby).[3][4]

At the end of the 2004–05 season Bradbury was playing for Oxford United. Bradbury signed a four-month contract with Southend United on 31 January 2006. He subsequently signed a longer contract.

In August 2007, Bradbury signed for AFC Bournemouth on a four-month loan deal. After playing one game for the club the loan was made permanent, and Bradbury signed a contract until the end of the season.[5]

In the later stages of Bradbury's career, he played in a much different role, being converted into a right back for Bournemouth during an injury crisis he became the first choice right back for the south coast club, but with the arrival of defender Stephen Purches, who returned after three seasons away from Bournemouth, Bradbury went back to his former role of striker whilst attacking options were limited.

Management career[edit]

AFC Bournemouth[edit]

On 15 January 2011, Bradbury was appointed as caretaker manager after the departure of Eddie Howe to Burnley. The next day, he announced his retirement from playing,[6] and on 28 January, was given a two-and-a-half-year deal as permanent manager of the club.[7] In January 2012, Bradbury signed an improved three-and-a-half-year contract to manage the League One club, keeping him at Bournemouth until the summer of 2015.[8] During his first season at the helm, Bradbury steered the Cherries into the League One Play-offs, eventually losing to Huddersfield on penalties. On 25 March, during his second season, Bradbury was dismissed from Bournemouth following the club's run of poor form.[9]

Havant & Waterlooville[edit]

Bradbury was appointed manager of Conference South club Havant & Waterlooville on 9 October 2012.[10] At the time, Bradbury was coaching the Under-14s at Portsmouth's Academy set up[11] In his first game as manager, his side won 2–1 against Basingstoke Town on 13 October 2012.[12] Following Michael Appleton's departure to become manager at Blackpool, Bradbury was linked with a return to Portsmouth, however Guy Whittingham was appointed instead.[13] On 30 April 2016, Havant & Waterlooville's relegation from the National League South was confirmed.[14] A whole season in The Isthmian league followed (Havant and Waterlooville being favourites to get promoted), and promotion was achieved on the last day of the season on 22 April 2017. Bradbury earned the [15] 'Manager of the year' award for winning the league. Hawks played the 2017–18 season back in the National League South and won it at the first attempt, gaining promotion to the National League Premier Division.

Eastbourne Borough and Crawley Town[edit]

Bradbury moved to Eastbourne Borough in May 2019,[16] and managed the National League South club until November of that year. In December 2019 he was appointed assistant head coach of Crawley Town in League Two, alongside newly appointed head coach John Yems.[17]


On 28 February 2022, Bradbury was appointed manager of National League club Eastleigh.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Lee Bradbury spent time in the army before entering the world of football.[19] His son Harvey is also a footballer.[20]


  1. ^ "Lee Bradbury - Player Profile - Football". Eurosport UK. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Games played by Lee Bradbury in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Derby 0–1 Walsall". BBC. 3 April 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  4. ^ "McCarthy's happy with squad". chroniclelive.co.uk. 27 March 2004. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  5. ^ Bournemouth bag striker Bradbury
  6. ^ "Lee Bradbury Exclusive". AFC Bournemouth. 16 January 2011. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Bournemouth hand long-term deal to Lee Bradbury". BBC Sport. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Bradbury agrees new Cherries deal". BBC Sport. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  9. ^ "Bournemouth managerial change needed – Eddie Mitchell". BBC Sport. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
    "Ex-Bournemouth boss Lee Bradbury claims he was sacked". BBC Sport. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  10. ^ "Bradbury is new boss at Westleigh Park". Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Bradbury makes Pompey return". Portsmouth News. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Love-Lee start for new Hawks boss Bradbury". Portsmouth News. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  13. ^ "Hawks boss in Pompey link". Portsmouth News. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  14. ^ Vimpany, Mike (30 April 2016). "Misery for Havant & Waterlooville as they are relegated from the National League South". Southern Daily Echo. Southampton. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Bradbury named Manager Of The Year".
  16. ^ "Bradbury Takes Control At The Lane". EBFC. 7 May 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Lee Bradbury joins coaching staff". Crawley Town F.C. 6 December 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  18. ^ "LEE BRADBURY APPOINTED FIRST TEAM MANAGER". www.eastleighfc.com. 28 February 2022.
  19. ^ "Cherries: Time in the forces 'made' Bradbury". Bournemouth Echo. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Harvey Bradbury Joins the U's". www.oufc.co.uk. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2020.

External links[edit]