Richard Lee (footballer)

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Richard Lee
Personal information
Full name Richard Anthony Lee[1]
Date of birth (1982-10-05) 5 October 1982 (age 34)
Place of birth Oxford, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1989–1994 Bedgrove Dynamos
1994–2002 Watford
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2010 Watford 92 (0)
2005–2006 Blackburn Rovers (loan) 0 (0)
2010–2015 Brentford 66 (0)
2015 Fulham (loan) 0 (0)
2015 Hampton & Richmond Borough 0 (0)
Total 158 (0)
National team
England U18
2002–2003 England U20 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Richard Anthony Lee (born 5 October 1982) is a retired English football goalkeeper. He is best remembered for his spells in the Football League with Watford and Brentford and represented England at U18 and U20 level.

Club career[edit]

Watford[edit]

2002–2004[edit]

Born in Oxford, Lee joined the academy at Watford at the age of 11 from Bedgrove Dynamos and progressed through the ranks to become a reserve team regular during the 2001–02 season,[2][3] learning from player-goalkeeping coach Kevin Hitchcock.[4] Lee received his maiden first team call up for a Division One match versus Barnsley on 23 March 2002.[4] He remained an unused substitute during the 2–0 defeat.[4]

Incoming manager Ray Lewington promoted Lee to second-choice goalkeeper ahead of Espen Baardsen for the 2002–03 season and he made his senior debut in a 1–0 defeat to Preston North End on 4 March 2003.[5] He made three further appearances (keeping a clean sheet in each match) before the Hornets closed out a forgettable mid-table season.[5] Lee began the 200304 season as second-choice behind Alec Chamberlain, but a broken arm and the form of incoming loanee Lenny Pidgeley saw Lee fail to make a single appearance during the season.[6][7]

2004–2007[edit]

After signing a new three-year contract in the summer of 2004, Lee went on to establish himself as Watford's first choice goalkeeper during the 2004–05 Championship season, making 38 appearances before a ruptured biceps and a torn cartilage ended his season.[8][9] He also played in every match of the Hornets' run to the League Cup semi-finals, though he missed the two-legged tie against Liverpool due to a broken cheekbone suffered in a defeat to Coventry City a month previously.[10]

Lee spent the entire 2005–06 season away on loan and in his absence, Watford were victorious in the 2006 Championship playoff Final and sealed a place in the Premier League. Behind Ben Foster and Alec Chamberlain in the pecking order, Lee made just 14 appearances during the 2006–07 season,[11] as the Hornets were relegated straight back to the Championship after finishing bottom.[12] In January 2007, Lee signed a one-year extension to his contract which would keep him at Vicarage Road until the end of the 2008–09 season.[2]

2007–2010[edit]

Lee was undisputed first choice back in the Championship and made 41 appearances during the 2007–08 season,[13] though Watford fell to Hull City in the playoff semi-finals. In Jay DeMerit's absence, manager Aidy Boothroyd also made Lee captain for a period.[14] Save for a run of 11 matches from September through to November 2008, Lee spent the 2008–09 season battling with Mart Poom for the position of second-choice goalkeeper behind Scott Loach.[15] He signed a new one-year contract extension in May 2009, but spent the entire 2009–10 season behind Scott Loach, making just two League Cup appearances in August 2009.[16] Lee turned down the offer of a new contract and departed Watford on 31 May 2010,[17] having made 110 appearances in eight years as a first team player with the club.[18] In 2015, Lee stated that failure to be seen as a consistent first-choice at Watford was down to being "seen as a good back up. I backed up Alec Chamberlain and he won player of the season, I backed up Ben Foster and he won an England cap, I backed up Scott Loach and he got an England cap. I guess because I never kicked up much of a fuss and I wanted those guys to do well it didn’t help my cause".[19]

Blackburn Rovers (loan)[edit]

Out of favour with Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd, Lee joined Premier League side Blackburn Rovers on loan for the rest of the 2005–06 season on 25 August 2005.[20] He was only called into the first team squad once, when he was unused substitute for a 4-1 victory over Charlton Athletic on 5 November 2005.[21] Looking back in 2015, Lee revealed that he didn't regret making the move to Ewood Park.[19]

Brentford[edit]

2010–2012[edit]

On 31 May 2010, Lee signed for League One side Brentford on a two-year contract.[22] He had a "car crash" beginning to the 2010–11 season,[19] having been dropped by manager Andy Scott after a poor performance during pre-season.[23] He spent the early months of the season behind Simon Moore and loanees Alex McCarthy and Ben Hamer in the pecking order and appeared only in cup matches.[24] After starting his first league game of the season against Bournemouth on 2 November 2010, he went on to cement his place in the side.[25] Brentford's League Cup and Football League Trophy runs were the highlights of his season, helping the Bees to win four penalty shootouts to send them to the fourth round of the League Cup and the final of the Football League Trophy.[26] He would miss the Football League Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium and the rest of the season with a dislocated right shoulder suffered in March 2011.[19] He made 33 appearances during the 2010–11 season and won the club's Player of the Year award.[24][26] Under new manager Uwe Rösler, Lee was first choice goalkeeper during the 2011–12 season, making 42 appearances,[27] though his season ended early after further problems with his right shoulder.[19] He signed a contract extension in October 2011, which would keep him at Griffin Park until the end of the 2012–13 season.[28]

2012–2015[edit]

Despite Brentford's strong form, Lee began the 2012–13 season out injured and due to the form of Simon Moore,[29] he made just six appearances.[30] He signed a new one-year contract extension in December 2012 and underwent a shoulder reconstruction operation in March 2013,[19][29] which would keep him out of first team action for six months.[31] He made just five appearances during Brentford's promotion-winning 2013–14 season and spent much of the season as backup to new signing David Button.[32] though he won a promotion medal by virtue of being a substitute on the final day of the season versus Stevenage.[33] He signed a new one-year contract extension in February 2014,[34] but after just one appearance in the first month of the 2014–15 season,[35] he made the decision to retire in May 2015.[26] Lee's persistent shoulder injury could be traced back to the ruptured biceps he suffered in 2005 and he admitted in 2011 that playing through injuries had caused lasting damage.[36][37] Lee spent the 2014–15 season as third-choice goalkeeper behind David Button and Jack Bonham and after falling to fourth-choice behind Development Squad goalkeeper Mark Smith, he departed on loan in late March 2015.[38] At the 2014–15 end-of-season awards dinner, Lee was presented with a long-service award for his five seasons at the club.[39] He made 87 appearances during his time at Griffin Park.[18]

Fulham (loan)[edit]

On 26 March 2015, Lee joined Brentford's West London Championship rivals Fulham on loan until the end of the 2014–15 season.[38] The move provoked a Twitter spat between the two clubs and Lee moved to tell a Brentford fan blog that he made the move in a search for first team football in the final months of his career.[40][41] Lee failed to win a call into a Fulham squad before the end of the season.[42]

Hampton & Richmond Borough[edit]

On 27 November 2015, it was announced that Lee had come out of retirement to sign for Isthmian League Premier Division side Hampton & Richmond Borough.[43] He stated that the move would be purely on an emergency basis and manager Alan Dowson later commented that Lee had "not committed to training and is just looking after himself in his spare time".[44][45]

International career[edit]

Lee was capped by England at U18 and U20 level,[3] making two substitute appearances for the latter team.[46] He was called-up into the U21 squad, but did not make an appearance.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

In 2012, Lee gained part one of his UEFA 'B' coaching license.[47] Together with amateur footballer Rob Lovesey, in April 2011 Lee co-founded Sporting Connect, a football social network. Through the network, Lee is involved in youth coaching.[47]

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Watford 2001–02[48] Division One 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2002–03[5] 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
2003–04[7] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004–05[8] Championship 33 0 5 0 0 0 38 0
2005–06[49] 0 0 0 0 0 0
2006–07[11] Premier League 10 0 2 0 2 0 14 0
2007–08[13] Championship 35 0 2 0 2 0 2[a] 0 41 0
2008–09[15] 10 0 1 0 0 0 11 0
2009–10[16] 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0
Total 92 0 12 0 4 0 2 0 110 0
Blackburn Rovers (loan) 2005–06[49] Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Brentford 2010–11[24] League One 22 0 3 0 2 0 6[b] 0 33 0
2011–12[27] 37 0 0 0 2 0 3[b] 0 42 0
2012–13[30] 3 0 0 0 2 0 1[b] 0 6 0
2013–14[32] 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
2014–15[35] Championship 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
Total 66 0 4 0 7 0 10 0 87 0
Fulham (loan) 2014–15[35] Championship 0 0 0 0
Hampton & Richmond Borough 2015–16[50] Isthmian League Premier Division 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career total 158 0 16 0 11 0 12 0 197 0
  1. ^ Appearances in Football League play-offs
  2. ^ a b c Appearances in Football League Trophy

Honours[edit]

As a player[edit]

Brentford

Personal life[edit]

Lee grew up in Aylesbury and is a Manchester United supporter.[51] In January 2012, Lee published Graduation: Life Lessons of a Professional Footballer, a book detailing his experiences with Brentford during the 2010–11 season.[52] The same year, Lee enrolled on a two-year PFA degree in Professional Sports Writing and Broadcasting at Staffordshire University, from which he graduated with honours in July 2014.[53] Throughout 2013, Lee contributed to the Footballers' Football Column in the Daily Mail.[54][55][56][57][58][59][60] He appeared on Channel 4's Couples Come Dine With Me with his fiancée on 7 May 2015.[61] After retiring from professional football in May 2015, Lee began contributing Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday as a pundit and reporter.[62]

Business interests[edit]

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.[63] The investment deal later collapsed.[64] As of March 2016, Dr. Cap is still trading.[65] Since June 2009, Lee has been a director of GK Icon, a goalkeeper training franchise.[66] In December 2014, Lee set up dickieleecoffee.com, through which he initially distributed Organo Gold coffee products.[67] He co-founded the Bean Team (a multi-level marketing product distribution group) with former Brentford teammate David Hunt in 2015,[68] distributing Organo Gold in the UK and overseas.[69][70]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Football League Retained List". The Football League. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Footymad Limited. "Lee Extends Contract". watford-mad.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Richard Lee - www.GPFootball.com
  4. ^ a b c "Richard Lee Watford FC Goalkeeper - Under Gianluca Vialli & Ray Lewington - That was Florida...now for Foster!". richardleegk.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "BBC SPORT - Football - My Club - Watford - Pidgeley stays at Watford". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Richard Lee Watford FC Goalkeeper - 2004/05 More Injury Problems". richardleegk.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-25. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "BBC - Beds Herts and Bucks - Sport - Richard Lee: the story so far". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-05-25.  horizontal tab character in |title= at position 36 (help)
  11. ^ a b "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "Football Club History Database - Watford". fchd.info. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  14. ^ mirror Administrator (9 February 2008). "Aidy Boothroyd reckons keeper Richard Lee is Watford's secret weapon". mirror. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  17. ^ Jacob Murtagh (3 June 2010). "Richard Lee will be Brentford's number one, says Scott". getwestlondon. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  18. ^ a b "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f Moore, Tom. "From Watford to Blackburn to Brentford & Fulham; Richard Lee assesses his career". Retrieved 2015-05-25. 
  20. ^ "BBC SPORT - Football - My Club - Blackburn Rovers - Blackburn land keeper Lee on loan". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  21. ^ "Richard Lee". espnfc.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  22. ^ "Lee's Number One". Brentford FC official website. 31 May 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-06-06. Retrieved 31 May 2010. 
  23. ^ "Richard Lee hoping he won't have to say 'I'm out' to Brentford". The Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 2015-05-25. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  24. ^ a b c "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "Richard Lee Player Profile - ESPN FC". www.espnfc.com. Retrieved 2016-03-26. 
  26. ^ a b c Wickham, Chris (2 January 2015). "Brentford goalkeeper Richard Lee to retire at end of 2014-15 season". Brentford Football Club. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  28. ^ "BBC Sport - Brentford goalkeeper Richard Lee signs deal extension". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  29. ^ a b Brentford_user. "RICHARD LEE SIGNS NEW CONTRACT". brentfordfc.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  30. ^ a b "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  31. ^ "BBC Sport - Brentford: Richard Lee sidelined after shoulder operation". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  32. ^ a b "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  33. ^ a b "BBC Sport - Brentford 2-0 Stevenage". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  34. ^ Chris Wickham. "RICHARD LEE SIGNS NEW BRENTFORD CONTRACT". brentfordfc.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  35. ^ a b c "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  36. ^ Jacob Murtagh (25 March 2011). "Richard Lee makes Brentford injury revelation". getwestlondon. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  37. ^ "Richard Lee Watford FC Goalkeeper - 2004/05 More Injury Problems". richardleegk.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  38. ^ a b "BBC Sport - Fulham sign Brentford's Richard Lee and Reading's Danny Guthrie". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  39. ^ Prizes handed out at Brentford FC Player of the Season Awards Dinner
  40. ^ "Brentford Fulham Twitter fight after Richard Lee loan deal - ESPN FC". ESPNFC.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  41. ^ "Richard Lee gives exclusive update on his move as Twitter goes 'to war'". BrentfordFC. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  42. ^ "Richard Lee". espnfc.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  43. ^ Stones next up on Wembley way - News - Hampton & Richmond Borough FC
  44. ^ "Ex-Brentford keeper gets a new club - but doesn't expect to play". getwestlondon. Retrieved 2016-01-18. 
  45. ^ "Hampton & Richmond: Beavers are lucky to have Jamal Lowe". Wimbledon Guardian. Retrieved 2016-01-18. 
  46. ^ "England Matches - Under-20's". www.englandfootballonline.com. Retrieved 2015-07-10. 
  47. ^ a b "Profile - Sporting Connect". sportingconnect.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  48. ^ "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  49. ^ a b "Richard Lee". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  50. ^ "Richard Lee | Football Stats | No Club | Season 2015/2016 | 2001-2015 | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 2015-11-27. 
  51. ^ Martin Smith (14 April 2007). "Lee set for Dragon's Den". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  52. ^ "Graduation: Life Lessons of a Professional Footballer: Amazon.co.uk: Richard Lee: 9780957051126: Books". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  53. ^ "Brentford goalkeeper Richard Lee obtains first-class degree but Charlton now in his sights". London 24. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  54. ^ "The Footballers' Football Column - Richard Lee: Peter Schmeichel played his part in the decline of English goalkeeping - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  55. ^ "The Footballers' Football Column - Richard Lee: It was amazing to play after my shoulder injury - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  56. ^ "Footballers' Football Column - Richard Lee: Brentford keeper goes for Wayne Rooney hair transplant - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  57. ^ "The Footballers' Football Column - Richard Lee: The Brentford goalkeeper believes the League One side can beat Chelsea - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  58. ^ "The Footballers' Football Column - Richard Lee: I should've been a striker... you can be dreadful but bang in the winner and be hailed a hero, says the goalkeeper who is allergic to goalkeeping gloves". Mail Online. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  59. ^ "The Footballers' Football Column - Richard Lee: Uwe Rosler and Brendan Rodgers show how fickle football is - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  60. ^ "THE FOOTBALLERS' FOOTBALL COLUMN - RICHARD LEE: It's like I'm a car on MTV's Pimp My Ride... I was overweight and a mess but now I'm souped-up and purring - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  61. ^ Tim Street (8 May 2015). "Brentford keeper serves up a treat on Come Dine With Me". getwestlondon. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  62. ^ "On Soccer Saturday: Hartlepool, Dag & Red and Rangers". SkySports. Retrieved 2015-11-27. 
  63. ^ "If the cap fits...". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  64. ^ "My Secret Passion: Richard Lee". Football League website. 14 March 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-04-28. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  65. ^ "Dr Cap - New Era Caps, Headwear, Baseball Caps and Official Stockist of New Era Hats". drcap.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  66. ^ "GKicon". gkicon.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  67. ^ "Richard Lee's Coffee Shop". dickieleecoffee.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  68. ^ "Meet the team | The Bean Team". beanteam.info. Retrieved 2016-01-18. 
  69. ^ "The Business | The Bean Team". beanteam.info. Retrieved 2016-03-26. 
  70. ^ "Bean Team Dubai Launch". allevents.in. Retrieved 2016-03-26. 

External links[edit]