IN PROFILE: Sammy Lee

By SFC Media time Tue 01 Jul Men's First team

saintsfc.co.uk takes a look at the career of Sammy Lee, who has become the club’s new First Team Assistant Coach.

The former midfielder brings a wealth of experience to the south coast with 21 years of coaching under his belt since taking up his first role at Liverpool in 1993.

It was with the Reds where Lee spent the majority of his playing time, making his senior debut in 1978 before chalking up 295 appearances and collecting four league titles, four League Cups and two European Cups in the process.

A one-year spell with QPR followed before a stint in Spain for Osasuna preceded an arrival at Southampton on a free transfer in January of 1990.

Sammy played only twice for Saints, with his bow coming in the form of a substitute appearance in a 3-2 defeat to Chelsea and his second bringing a 2-0 loss to former side QPR.


Sammy Lee during his playing days at Saints

Lee drew his time on the pitch to a close with the first of three spells with Bolton Wanderers – both in playing and coaching terms – in the 1990/91 season when he managed four league outings before hanging up his boots.

The 55-year-old was handed a route into coaching by Liverpool when he was offered the opportunity to replace Phil Thompson as reserve-team coach and Gérard Houllier’s appointment five years later prompted Lee’s promotion to the first-team staff.

After this elevation, the ex-Saint helped guide the Merseysiders to a famous treble in the 2000/01 campaign as they battled to League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup glory.

More silverware came as Liverpool won the UEFA Super Cup and FA Community Shield the following season before another League Cup honour was gained in 2003.

Lee’s part-time role as a coach under then-England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson, which began in 2001, became a permanent arrangement in 2004 before reverting back to his initial position when agreeing to become Sam Allardyce’s assistant manager at Bolton Wanderers in June 2006.

A different avenue within the Lions setup arose when the role of England Under-21 manager was offered to Sammy, although he declined in favour of focusing on Bolton and taking the senior reigns when Allardyce resigned in 2007.

Lee returned to Liverpool once more in 2008 to assist Rafa Benítez and took charge of managerial duties for one game – a 1-1 draw with Arsenal late that year – as the Spaniard recovered from surgery to remove two kidney stones.

After departing Merseyside midway through 2011, he made a move across the north-west back to Bolton in 2012 for a third spell. On this occasion, it was to become the Head of Academy Coaching and Development as he oversaw the nurturing of upcoming talent at the club.

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