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David Lee reflects on 'fantastic' Bolton Wanderers career

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

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Wanderers favourite David Lee is pleased to see some of his former youth players making their names in the professional game.

Lee made 199 appearances for the Whites between 1992 and 1997 and returned to the University of Bolton Stadium to work with the Academy in 2007.

He had a spell in charge of the Under-23 side, which is best known for winning the Professional Development League in 2018.

Dennis Politic was a key member of that side and has since impressed at Port Vale, scoring six goals in 22 games this season.

Harry Brockbank was also part of the squad and went on to play 37 games for Wanderers at first-team level. The defender is currently playing in the League of Ireland with St Patrick’s Athletic alongside former Bolton team-mate Eoin Doyle.

Lee still keeps an eye on his former players and has enjoyed watching the progress they have made in recent years.

The 55-year-old told The Bolton News: “There is a long list of players who have come through the Academy system and it is nice to see them making their names in professional football.

“I do keep my eye on them, it is nice to see how they are progressing. And every credit to the football club for allowing me to do that for them.”

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He added: “It was a fantastic time as a player and as a coach. We had some great spells there, we had a bit of success along the way.

“Hopefully, we have put some smiles on people’s faces over the years I was at the football club.”

Lee was speaking at the Generations Cup – a tournament created to pay homage to the history of the FA Cup.

The Bolton side also featured the likes of John McGinlay and Nicky Hunt among others, while Sam Allardyce and Ricardo Gardner were also involved for Turton.

The Whites drew 2-2 against a Blackpool side featuring Colin Hendry and Rickie Lambert before losing out against Darwen, missing out on a place in the final event next month.

“It’s been nice to come along,” said Lee. “Obviously, Nicky Hunt is here, John McGinlay, Stuart Whittaker, so it is nice to see some of the old faces. And for the opposition as well – people like Rickie Lambert, Colin Hendry for Blackpool.

“It is nice to catch up with them and I thought the games were played in good spirit, so it has been good for everybody.

“There are a few familiar people here today who have spoken about the games in the past. It is nice to reminisce.”

Blackpool and Preston North End finished top of their respective groups and will now take on the winning sides from the southern section at St George’s Park.

Former Bolton chairman Barry Chaytow was also in attendance at the Anchor Ground in Darwen to watch the action.

Chaytow helped the club navigate some tough times during the ‘80s and also served as chairman at Oldham years later.

He had a close friendship with the legendary Nat Lofthouse, who held a number of roles at Wanderers including player, manager, chief scout and club president.

Chaytow was also involved in the music industry and even acted as a promoter for the Beatles for several years.

He is still working and runs the Tie & Scarf Company, which has been which has been in his family for five generations.

The company makes the caps for the England national team, which have been handed out to countless international players over the years.

Wanderers side currently sit fifth in the League One table following their 1-0 win against Cheltenham at the weekend.

Lee still follows their results and has been impressed with the way Ian Evatt’s men have managed to grind out results when they haven’t been at their best at times this season.

“They have played in games where you don’t think they are going to get anything from it and they will grab a point or three, and that is where you get promotion,” he explained.

“You don’t always have to play well, and they are picking the points up. People are starting to talk about them in the play-off situation now, which can be quite dangerous.

“Hopefully, they can keep everything low key and keep picking the results up. One or two decent performances and hopefully they will at least be in the play-offs for the end of the season.”

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Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

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