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Sammy Lee
Sammy Lee.jpg
Photo: Philip Gabrielsen
Personal information
Full name Samuel Lee
Date of birth 7 February 1959 (1959-02-07) (age 50)
Place of birth    Liverpool, England
Height 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Liverpool (assistant manager)
Youth career
1975–1976 Liverpool
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Queens Park Rangers
Bolton Wanderers
197 (13)
030 0(0)
028 0(0)
002 0(0)
004 0(0)
261 (13)   
National team
England U21
014 0(2)
Teams managed
Bolton Wanderers (Assistant Manager)
Bolton Wanderers
Liverpool (Assistant Manager)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Samuel "Sammy" Lee (born 7 February 1959 in Liverpool) is an English football coach and former player. He played most of his career for hometown club Liverpool during the 1970s and 1980s as a midfielder, and also represented England fourteen times.


Playing career

Lee rose through the ranks at Liverpool after joining on an apprenticeship in September 1975, making his first team debut on 8 April 1978, as a 6th minute substitute for David Johnson. Leicester City at Anfield were the opponents, as Lee managed to find the net in the 56th minute of the 3–2 victory. A year earlier, he had been put in the squad for a huge European Cup semi-final against FC Zürich and, although he didn't play, manager Bob Paisley said he would have had no qualms about using him if required.

Lee became a regular from 1980 onwards and, although small in stature, he established a reputation as a sharp-passing and strong-running midfield player who could also hit a decent shot. In the 1981 League Cup final, Lee was at the centre of a controversial incident which left opponents West Ham United feeling slightly cheated. Lee had ventured forwards in an attack and ended up flat out on the turf following a challenge. The West Ham defence pushed out of their area to leave Lee in an offside position but when Liverpool full back Alan Kennedy scored with a follow-up shot, the goal stood. West Ham did equalise but Liverpool won the replay with Lee in the side.

In that year's European Cup semi-final against Bayern Munich, Lee was unusually asked to do a man-marking job on Paul Breitner, the strong and skilful West German international. Lee did the marking job to perfection and Liverpool went through to the final against Real Madrid, which they won 1–0 with Lee again in the side.

Lee got his first League title medal in 1982 and also helped Liverpool retain the League Cup; the same applied in 1983 and 1984, the latter of which was also the year of their fourth European Cup triumph – Lee played in every game en route to the final and scored a clinching goal in the first leg of the semi-final at Anfield against Dinamo Bucharest.

Bobby Robson gave Lee the first of his 14 England caps during this period, where he again scored on his debut in the 3–0 1984 UEFA European Championship qualifier victory over Greece, on 17 November 1982.

Injuries took their toll in 1985 and Lee struggled to regain his previous form. With Jan Mølby in the side, there was no longer a place for him at Liverpool. He left during August 1986, joining Queens Park Rangers. Spells at CA Osasuna (where he reunited with former Liverpool teammate Michael Robinson), Southampton and Bolton Wanderers followed before he retired from playing.

Coaching career

Lee's former Liverpool captain, Graeme Souness, invited Lee to join his Anfield coaching staff in 1993. He did so with relish and gained respect to the extent that both Roy Evans and Gérard Houllier kept him on the payroll after Souness left, gaining promotion from reserve team coach to the first team, under Houllier.

Lee became a part-time coach under Sven-Göran Eriksson with England in 2001,[1]eventually leaving Liverpool to go full-time with the national set-up in July 2004.[2]

Bolton Wanderers

He returned to club football with former club Bolton Wanderers in June 2005, as assistant to Sam Allardyce. Lee was offered the role of manager of the England U-21s in August 2006, but turned the move down and also left the senior England set-up.[3]

Allardyce left Bolton in April 2007 and Lee was confirmed as his replacement shortly afterwards.[4][5] After only winning one league game from eleven matches, he was sacked in October 2007, becoming the second Premier League manager to be sacked in that season.[4]He was linked with a return to Liverpool by becoming Rafael Benítez's assistant after the pair watched a Liverpool reserve match together.[6] He was also linked to the assistant manager position at Leeds United under Gary McAllister.[7]He became the firm favourite to become assistant coach to Rafa Benitez following Alex Miller's departure from Liverpool and officially returned to the club when appointed on 16 May 2008.[8]

In November 2008, upon his return to the Reebok for the first time since his departure, Sammy stated that he bore no animosity towards the hierarchy at Bolton or their supporters, the Wanderers crowd responded by giving the man they called "Little Sam" a round of applause in appreciation for his spell as player and assistant manager.


On 16 May 2008, he took up the role of assistant manager to Rafael Benítez after signing a 2-year contract.[9][10]

In November 2008, Lee returned to Bolton as Assistant Manager for Liverpool's 2-0 win against the Trotters at the Reebok Stadium and was generally given a good reception by the home crowd.[11]

On 21 December 2008 Lee took charge of Liverpool for the first time in a 1-1 draw with Arsenal due to Rafael Benítez being ill with kidney stones.[12]

On 16 August 2009 Lee was sent off by referee Phil Dowd in a 2 - 1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur, [13] and was charged with improper conduct by the Football Association on 19 August 2009.[14]




In the early 1980s, he appeared in an episode of Boys from the Blackstuff, alongside his Liverpool teammate Graeme Souness.

Lee speaks fluent Spanish owing to his three years playing in the country's top division.

Lee was known as "Little Sam" during his time at Bolton with Sam Allardyce, in reference to the height difference between the two.

Managerial stats

Team Nat From To Record
G W L D Win %
Bolton Wanderers England 30 April 2007 17 October 2007 14 3 7 4 21.43


  1. ^ "Lee steps up to England role". BBC News. 2001-05-18. Retrieved 2007-04-30.  
  2. ^ "Lee takes full-time FA role". BBC News. 2004-07-08. Retrieved 2007-04-30.  
  3. ^ "Lee leaves England coaching team". BBC News. 2006-08-08. Retrieved 2007-04-30.  
  4. ^ a b "Club statement". Bolton Wanderers F.C. official website. 2007-10-17.,,1004~1145252,00.html. Retrieved 2007-10-17.  
  5. ^ "Lee appointed manager of Bolton". BBC News. 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2007-04-30.  
  6. ^ "Rafa Benitez and Sammy Lee's old pals' act". icLiverpool. 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2008-01-08.  
  7. ^ "Leeds United number two: decision due". Yorkshire Evening Post. 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2008-02-22.  
  8. ^ "Lee lined up as Rafa's assistant". Teamtalk. 2008-05-09.,16368,1776_3542158,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-09.  
  9. ^ "Lee clinches return to Liverpool". BBC. 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2008-05-16.  
  10. ^ "Benítez welcomes Lee addition". 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2008-05-16.  
  11. ^ "Bolton 0-2 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 2008-11-15. Retrieved 2009-08-18.  
  12. ^ "Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 2008-12-21. Retrieved 2009-08-18.  
  13. ^ "Tottenham 2 - 1 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 2009-08-16. Retrieved 2009-08-18.  
  14. ^ "Liverpool's Lee hit by FA charge". BBC Sport. 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2009-08-20.  

External links



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