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 Post subject: RANDOM NOTES ABOUT OLD PLAYERS - LEE BRACEY
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:39 pm 
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this is something I was working on as and when information became available, I was aiming to do these articles next year for our 20th anniversary since joining the NPL, but the Ossett United thing has put paid to that idea, so I am doing it now before we all sail off into the sunset.

LEE BRACEY was born in Barking, Essex in 1968. He joined West Ham United as an apprentice. West Ham, under John Lyall, had finished 3rd in 1986, their best ever position (and still is). But it was an aging squad and West ham finished 15th in 1987 and 16th in 1988. Lee was third choice keeper behind 38 year old Phil Parkes and 35 year old Tom McAlister. In the summer of 1988, West Ham signed Celtic & Northern Ireland keeper Allen McKnight, pushing Lee further down the pecking order. Lee had trials with Colchester United and while there, spoke to their keeper Mark Walton, whose father, Ron Walton was a coach at Swansea City. Swansea were looking for a new keeper after Mike Hughes had retired through injury and on loan keeper Rhys Wilmot from Arsenal was only allowed to play league games. Ron Walton had a word with Swansea boss Terry Yorath and in August 1988, Lee joined Swansea City.

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 Post subject: Re: RANDOM NOTES ABOUT OLD PLAYERS - LEE BRACEY
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:49 pm 
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his debut was in a league cup tie v Cardiff City, but his league debut wasn't until Wilmot had been recalled by Arsenal in November, Lee making his debut v Blackpool, becoming first choice keeper straight away. Also in the Swansea side that season was current Sunderland boss Chris Coleman, former Man City & Scotland winger the 41 year old Tommy Hutchison, ex Man United player Alan Davies, also in the team were Robbie James (ex Bradford City), Alan Knill & Steve Thornber (Halifax) and Paul Raynor (Huddersfield). In February 1989, Yorath resigned and took over as Bradford City manager. The new manager was fomer Crystal Palace assistant manager Ian Evans, who used to play for Barnsley. Lee ended the season with a Welsh Cup winners medal and Swansea finished 12th in Division 3.

In 1989-90 some more Welsh internationals joined Swansea, Alan Curtis (ex Leeds), andy Melville and Terry Boyle. Also arriving on loan was Crystal Palace midfielder John Salako. Lee played in the European Cup Winners Cup against Greek side Panathinaikos. After Swansea were beating at home 1-6 by Reading, Ian Evans signed Chelsea keeper Roger Freestone on loan. Lee returned to the side in December and was in goal when Swansea lost 0-8 at Liverpool in the FA Cup. Terry Yorath returned as manager in March 1990 and Swansea finished 17th.

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war is when your Government tells you who the enemy is, revolution is when you work out who the enemy is.


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 Post subject: Re: RANDOM NOTES ABOUT OLD PLAYERS - LEE BRACEY
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:01 pm 
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In 1990-91, Yorath used his Yorkshire connections to bring in former Leeds striker Terry Connor, Andy Watson (Harrogate Town), Clive Freeman (later OTFC assistant manager) and former Pontefract Colls midfielder David Penney. However, Yorath left Swansea again and was replaced by former Swindon centre half Frank Burrows and Swansea finished 20th. Swansea won the Welsh Cup again, but former Wolves keeper Mark Kendall was in goal.

the 1991-92 season began with Swansea losing 0-5 at Stockport. Burrows signed Roger Freestone on a permanent move from Chelsea, just in time to play for Swansea against Monaco in the European Cup Winners Cup. After 139 games for Swansea, Lee Bracey transferred to Division 4 side Halifax Town. Halifax had just appointed former Newcastle centre half John McGrath as their new manager and Lee replaced Jonathan Gould in goal to make his debut in a 2-0 win over Chesterfield. Other Halifax players that season with OTFC connections were Steve Richards and Nick Richardson. Halifax finished the season in 20th.

The 1992-93 season was a disaster for Halifax, finishing bottom and being relegated to the Conference. McGrath had been replaced by the physio, former Blackburn defender Mick Rathbone, but even the likes of former Liverpool midfielder Jimmy Case couldn't stop the inevitable.

For 1933-94, the new manager was former Macclesfield manager Peter Wragg and Rathbone reverted back to physio. Lee started the season in goal for the opening match v Kettering Town, but after 79 games for the Shaymen, was soon back in the League, signing for Division 3 side Bury. Bury were managed by former Bolton & Ireland defender Mike Walsh, Lee was first choice keeper due to regular keeper Gary Kelly (ex Newcastle & Ireland) being injured. Bury finished the season in 13th

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 Post subject: Re: RANDOM NOTES ABOUT OLD PLAYERS - LEE BRACEY
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:13 pm 
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In 1994-95 Gary Kelly was back in goal and Bury finished 4th and reached the play offs, beating Preston North End then losing to Chesterfield. Early in the 1995-96 season, Mike Walsh was replaced by former Burnley defender Stan Ternent and Bury ended the season in 3rd place, winning promotion to Division 2. In 1996-97 new signing Dean Kiely played in every game and Bury win the Division 2 title. After 76 games for Bury, but none at all in 1996-97, Lee was transferred to Ipswich Town in August 1997.

Ipswich were in Division 1 and were managed by their former Scottish international, George Burley. The regular keeper was Richard Wright and he played every match in the 1997-98 season. Ipswich had defeated Manchester United in the League Cup, then lost to Chelsea on penalties. Ipswich finished 5th, but lost to Charlton Athletic in the play offs.

In 1998-99, Wright again played in every game, Ipswich finished 3rd, but lost to Bolton Wanderers in the play offs.

After 3 seasons without playing any first team football, Lee joined Hull City in 1999. Hull were in Division 3 and managed by former Bolton midfielder Warren Joyce. That season, Hull City played Liverpool in the League Cup, Liverpool had the likes of Jamie Carragher and Michael Owen playing in the first leg, winning 5-1, but Lee was sent off. He played in the second leg with Liverpool winning 4-2. Later Lee played in a 1-6 defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup, Gus Poyet, Chris Sutton and Roberto di Matteo scoring. Didier Deschamps, Frank Leboeuf and Gianfranco Zola also played with John Terry on the bench. Hull ended the season in 14th.

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war is when your Government tells you who the enemy is, revolution is when you work out who the enemy is.


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 Post subject: Re: RANDOM NOTES ABOUT OLD PLAYERS - LEE BRACEY
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:20 pm 
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In 2000-01, Brian Little, the former Aston Villa and England midfielder, took over as manager. He brought in former Scunthorpe keeper Paul Musselwhite and Lee's last game for Hull was a 1-1 draw at Plymouth in March 2001. Hull finished 6th, but lost to Leyton Orient in the play offs. Their top scorer was Rodney Rowe with only 6 goals, Rodney later played for OTFC.

After 30 games for Hull City, Lee made what seems an odd move in joining Ossett Town in the NPL Division 1. I found out recently he had had an offer from Stalybridge Celtic, which was nearer his home in Bury, so I can only assume we must have been paying him some silly money to come here. The 2001-02 season ended with us in 2nd place behind Harrogate Town but turned down for promotion due to ground grading issues. The 2002-03 season was a disaster from start to finish and in October 2002, Lee was beginning a new career with the Police and wanted a transfer to a club nearer home. He joined Chorley and later played for Mossley, Ashton United and Rossendale United.

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