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Robert Martin "Rob" Lee (born 1 February 1966 in West Hammarker, Londonmarker) is a retired Englishmarker football player.

Playing career

Charlton Athletic

Lee came through the academy of Charlton Athletic and established himself in the first team by the 1984–85 season. He rapidly became the Addicks' star player playing as a winger and helping Charlton to promotion to the First Division at the end of the 1985–86 season. He remained a regular in the top-flight over the next four years until Charlton were relegated back to Division Two at the end of the 1989–90 season.

Lee remained with Charlton for over two years, but he was sold after the beginning of 1992–93 season as the club needed money to finance the return to The Valleymarker. At the time, Charlton were second in the table, and Lee moved to the team above them, Newcastle United, for a fee of £700,000. Allegedly, he moved to Newcastle after Newcastle's manager, Kevin Keegan, told him that Newcastle-upon-Tynemarker was closer to Londonmarker than Middlesbrough, the other club interested in signing Lee. This was a reference not to distance, but transport time, as there were more flights between London and Newcastle than there were between London and Middlesbrough.

Newcastle United

In his first season, Lee helped Newcastle gain promotion to the Premier League for the 1993–94 season. The following few years, Lee was a key component of Keegan's team which challenged for several Premier League titles, achieving runners-up position in the 1996–97 season, earning the reputation as "the Entertainers". Such was Lee's form, Keegan gave him the title of 'Best Midfielder in Britainmarker'. After Keegan was replaced by Kenny Dalglish in early 1997, Lee was named captain of Newcastle, but Dalglish's reign failed to bring success and he was fired shortly after the start of the 1998–99 season. He played in both the 1998 and 1999 FA Cup Finals, both of which ended in defeat for Lee and Newcastle.

Lee failed to get on with new manager Ruud Gullit, and had his captaincy taken away from him, and didn't even receive a squad number. Gullit resigned shortly after the start of the following season, and under Sir Bobby Robson Lee reclaimed his place in the side, now given the number 37 shirt, and played a part as a free scoring Newcastle side reached the FA Cup semi finals once again. Lee's old squad number 7, taken away by Gullit, had previously been given to Kieron Dyer. Dyer gave Lee the number 7 shirt back and Dyer played with the number 8 shirt, previously worn by Franck Dumas. With Robson as manager, Lee turned into a more of a defending midfielder that held up the play and allowed others to get forward rather than the attacking midfielder that he had been in the mid 1990s.

In the 2001–02 season, Lee wanted to extend his contract with the club, but Newcastle insisted that they waited until January 2002 before negotiating. Lee was unhappy with the way the contract talks were being handled, so he handed in a transfer request. The supporters and the players were surprised at his decision, and manager Robson was sorry about the situation but respected Lee's decision. By February 2002, Lee had been sold to Derby County for £250,000. However, his 10 years at the club meant he became a hero at Newcastle, despite his decision to leave.

Later career

After a short, unsuccessful spell with Derby, which saw them relegated from the Premier League, Lee was sold to West Ham United in 2003, after scoring twice in games against Reading and Ipswich Town. However, at West Ham he played only a handful of games for the Hammers during the 2003–04 season. Following this, he was released on a free transfer, and had trials with Oldham Athletic and Wycombe Wanderers, and was later signed full time by the latter. He played two seasons in League Two with the Chairboys, before leaving in June 2006, following the dismissal of John Gorman as the club's manager.

Honours



International career

Lee played for England between 1994 and 1998, scoring twice in twenty one appearances. He was in the squad for the 1998 World Cup under Glenn Hoddle, and came on once as a substitute.

Post-playing career

In October 2006, Lee was interviewed for the manager position at Bournemouth, but the job went to Kevin Bond. Lee was arrested in July 2007, alongside former team-mate Warren Barton, for taking a limousine but was not charged. He also appeared for Newcastle on the charity television show Premier League All Stars in September 2007.

In May 2008 he captained Legal & General to victory in a charity five-a-side tournament in St Albansmarker, helping to raise £15,000 for the leukemia charity the Anthony Nolan Trust.

Currently, he works as a regular pundit for Singaporemarker's Football Channel. He is also backup commentator alongside John Burridge for Ten Sports UEFA Champions League fixtures.

His son, Oliver, is an apprentice player at West Ham United.

References

  1. Shepherd denies he wants to sell stake in Newcastle, The Guardian.



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