|Full name||Michael Robert Lea|
|Date of birth||4 November 1987|
|Place of birth||Salford, England|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|2007||→ Royal Antwerp (loan)||15||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:24, 7 June 2015 (UTC).
Born in Salford, Greater Manchester, Lea was brought up in Leigh in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan. His 2005–06 season was marred by injury, and he was restricted to 13 appearances for the Under-18 team. In the 2006–07 season, he became a regular for the Manchester United Reserve team, making 21 appearances. His consistent form in the 2006–07 season led to a nomination for the Manchester United Reserve Player of the Year award, but he was beaten to the award by Kieran Lee.
Lea was sent out on loan to Belgian side Royal Antwerp for the first half of the 2007–08 season. He made his debut for the Belgians on 22 September 2007 against R.O.C. de Charleroi-Marchienne; the match finished as a 1–1 draw. He went on to make a further 14 appearances for "The Great Old" before returning to Manchester United at the end of 2007. Lea never played for the Manchester United first team, and on 27 June 2008, it was announced that he would be given a free transfer at the end of his contract on 30 June 2008.
On 4 July 2008, Lea was given a trial at Scunthorpe United, with a view to a permanent deal as a replacement for Marcus Williams, who was involved in a protracted contract negotiation. Despite Williams signing a new contract, Scunthorpe retained their interest in signing Lea, playing him in two pre-season friendlies. Lea signed a one-year contract with the Iron on 25 July 2008, with the option to extend it for an extra year.
This option, however, was not taken up, he was subsequently released at the end of the season having only made three appearances for Scunthorpe. With Lea out of contract, he was free to sign for Chester City on 9 July 2009. Lea made 19 league appearances for Chester before they were wound up and their Conference record was expunged in March 2010.
Return to Hyde
- "Lea signing completed". Scunthorpe United F.C. 25 July 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
- "Chester sign ex-Iron defender Lea". BBC Sport. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
- "Chester City results erased from Blue Square Premier". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 8 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Chester City wound up in High Court". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "In's & Out's [sic] at Ewen Fields". hydeunited.com. Hyde United FC. 24 March 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
- "Michael Lea Returns to Hyde". Hyde FC. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- "Ex-Manchester United reserve joins Colwyn Bay FC". Daily Post. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010.