We were invited to the Masters Football by the nice chaps who organise the competition, and we had a chance to catch up with David Lee once more after following David and the team back in 2009 all the way from the North West Masters to the Grand Final.
Back in 2009, David and the team lost to Tranmere in the Final after the referee overturned a decision using Video Technology – Tranmere then went on to win the Final. This year, the Bolton Masters team lost to Liverpool in the final game, in which Liverpool secured a place in the Grand Final.
So, we asked David a series of questions, split into 2 parts with this part concentrating on his Playing career. We hope you enjoy the interview.
What was it like playing in the Rioch era?
Well, Bruce is a great man manager and I think he was an individual who was brilliant for myself because he knew what personal needs you had, he knew when to knock you down and when to pick you up, and within the 5 years we had some successful times. He was brilliant to play for.
Do you still see some of your team mates from back in the day?
For me football moves quite quickly so it’s only events like the Masters which brings the players who have gone afar come back together and see each other.
When you’re on the circuit, you do tend to see other players working at other football clubs so you don’t actually become friends in football, you actually become work colleagues. You do become friends with one or two, but it’s events like the Masters which bring you together.
How were you feeling about the result at half time in the 1995 Playoff Final?
I was quite gutted that I couldn’t play as I’d broke my 3 metatarsals in the semi-final, but I think it reiterates how good the squad was and how Bruch Rioch motivated the team to go from being 2-0 down and then for Keith Branagan to save the penalty and then to turn it around – I think that just epitomises just what the club did within that 5 years and to win promotion.
Whilst at Bolton, you played a massive 147 games, scoring a total of 16 goals. Which 3 goals would you say are memorable to you?
The one that’s most memorable for me is the goal I scored in the Carling Cup in the Quarter Finals against Norwich City, we won at Burnden Park 1-0. That got us into the Semi-Final against Swindon and then we went on to the Final. I can recollect a few other goals but this one goal is the one that’s really outstanding for me.
I suppose every goal is important but when you score a goal I think it shows all the hard work you’ve put in during the week, and then to go out on the Saturday and score a goal it’s fantastic.
The other goal I do remember is coming on as a substitute against Bradford City on New Years Day. We were 1-0 down. I came on and created the equaliser and then went on to score the winner. Both these goals were at different ends of the spectrum but when you do score goals, you go on to remember them for different reasons.
Regardless of who you’ve already played for, if you could go back in time which team would you have loved to play your football for and why?
Well, if you’re going to play the pinnacle of your career I think you’ve got to look at the likes of Manchester United. Everybody looks at them, the infrastructure at the football club, the players they produce, the football they play, the success they have, and I think any young inspiring footballer who wants to be a footballer – you’ve got be aiming for the top and for me the very top would have been Manchester United.
Part 2 will be published over the next couple of days or so – if you’ve not already bookmarked our site – why not do it now, if you’re not already following us on twitter – follow us for regular chit chat and updates (http://www.twitter.com/voiceofbolton).