Saturday, 19 February 2011
288 Lee Todd
Position : Left back
Played : 2000-01 to 2001-02
Appearances : 50
Goals : 3
We move into the 2000-01 season and ostensibly more of the same. We finished even closer to the play-offs in 8th place and it was in our hands; if we won the last game we were there. Unfortunately Plymouth away is a tough call and we couldn't quite manage it (though a good weekend in Torquay softened the blow !). However that's not the full story. We got off to a better start than the previous season with the best defensive record in the division and were well placed until February when we lost four games in a row. Parkin had to break the bank again to rescue the season but it wasn't quite enough.
After missing the second game of the season away at Brighton I then went on a run not missing a game until October 2002, a feat I'm never likely to repeat.
Lee was the best and undoubtedly the most surprising of our summer signings, coming to us directly from then-Premiership Bradford City with no fee involved. Lee's career began inauspiciously at Hartlepool where he was given a free transfer in 1990 without having made an appearance for them. Danny Bergara signed him for Stockport and converted him from a winger to full back. Lee became one of their most consistent performers moving up two divisions with them. When Dave Jones went to Southampton he took Lee with him for £850,000 but he only played 10 games for them and was sold on to Bradford for £250,000 a year later. He made 15 appearances in their promotion season from Division One but didn't appear in the Premiership again, his only League action in 1999-2000 being a game on loan at Walsall. Just before signing for us he appeared in the Intertoto Cup.
There is still some mystery surrounding Lee's signing. How were we able to afford his wages for one ? Why did we need another left back when we'd just given McCauley a long contract ? Why did he want to come to us particularly when you remembered that on a previous visit to the area while at Stockport he'd had his head kicked in at Stubley Hall for giving the sort of lip people won't take from a short guy ? Some clues emerged later. There was a strong rumour that former team-mate Neil Edwards had actually set the ball rolling on the transfer. Some clues emerged later. A Stockport fan at work told me that Lee was the leader of the drinking culture there. He also seemed to have a bad relationship with certain team-mates, Dave Bayliss in particular.
Notwithstanding the above he was a very good player, arguably the best left back we've had. He was quick, an effective tackler and a potent attacking weapon (which was just as well considering the wingers we had at the time). He was also one of our best free kick takers scoring a fantastic winner at Carlisle , a similar equaliser at home against Brighton and the second goal in our 6-0 rout of Carlisle . His free kick also set up Clive Platt's winner at Exeter. He was sent off twice , for protesting a back pass decision at Hartlepool and taking one for the team by handling on the line at home to Scunthorpe.
Unfortunately Lee got injured in September 2001 and found it difficult to get back in the side under John Hollins who even got his name wrong at the Fans' Forum . He last appeared in the game against Halifax in March 2002.
It was no surprise that he was released in May 2002 . Lee was out of the game for a year making a comeback with Mossley in 2003 which lasted 6 games before he transferred to Stalybridge Celtic for a brief spell.