(Photo: Andy Fitzsimons)
By John Lyons
FORMER Premier League goalkeeper Richard Lee admitted he ‘loved the experience’ of going between the sticks for Dunstable Town last night – even though they lost 4-1 and he felt ‘dreadful’ this morning!
The 35-year-old ex-Watford and Brentford keeper stepped out of retirement on a one-off basis as the Blues’ Ipswich loanee Nick Hayes, 18, who he mentors, was unavailable due to an England youth training camp.
It looked as though Lee might inspire struggling Dunstable to a shock win when they took a 1-0 lead in the Evo-Stik South Premier clash at Bishop’s Stortford, but, ultimately, they were well beaten.
Lee, who quit playing a couple of years ago, said: “ It was a very different situation from a few years ago, but I was still bitterly disappointed at losing afterwards. I was angry, and that never leaves you.
“I wanted to help Nick and Dunstable, but I also really wanted to win. We were 1-0 up early on and had a really good energy. I thought it might be our night, but then Bishop’s Stortford came good.
“I was reasonably happy with my performance. I made a couple of saves I was really pleased with, but there were a few things that I would have done better if I’d been playing regularly.”
So is he now planning a permanent comeback?
“I loved the experience and it was great to be out there again,” he said, “but I felt dreadful this morning.
“In the first half I came out for a ball and I felt my shoulders seize up. At half-time I had some painkillers and they loosened up a bit in the second half.
“This morning I was given a sharp reminder why I retired!”
*So, You Want To Become A Professional Footballer?, by Adam Woodage with Rich Lee, published by AW Publishing, is out now (£11.99).