Roberts, Lee

Birth Date

23rd March 1957





Biographical Text

Lee Roberts played for Exeter City between 1977 and 1983. He joined the club from Shrewsbury Town and was a member of the team that reached the 6th round of the FA Cup in 1981. He also appeared as a loan player towards the end of the 1976/77 promotion season.

An apprentice with Shrewsbury Town, Lee signed his first full professional contract in January 1975 but was to feature in only 15 league games .

He moved to Exeter City on loan in March 1977 and played a part in the Grecians’ promotion-winning team having made seven appearances after his debut at Crewe Alexandra on 11 March 1977. Returning to Shrewsbury, he was soon back at St James’ Park in September 1977 when Exerter paid £8,000 for his services. 

Quickly establishing himself, Lee went on to become a regular first team player at City and will long be remembered for scoring a goal at Newcastle United in the 5th round of the FA Cup in February 1981 that earned the Grecians a replay which they were to win 4-0.

Released at the end of the 1982-83 season, he was forced to retire due an injury and moved back to Shropshire where he became a postal worker in Market Drayton. Becoming involved in football again he later had two spell as manager of  Market Drayton Town.In May 2018 Ben Strange asked Lee Roberts about the ‘First, Best and Worst’ moments during his time at the club. 

First game for Exeter City? 

“Away at Crewe Alexandra [March 1977] where I thought: ‘oh my god, what have I come to.’ I started on the bench, our goalkeeper [Richard Key] broke his ankle so one of the lads that also came on loan with me at the time, called Geoff Gay, ended up going in goal. Bobby Saxton, who was player-manager, was sent off and I’m sat there thinking: ‘what the hell is going on here!’  It was ironic because I was signed as a centre forward although Saxton was after a centre-half. Now, with him being sent off, I’m thrown on as a central defender!” 

Best goal for Exeter City?

 “I only remember one goal and that was against Newcastle United. Pete Rogers got a rollicking two seconds beforehand because he should have shot. He was then taking a throw-in and it came to me bouncing, inside the box, and all I was trying to do was help it onto the back post, but fortunately for me I shinned it a bit and it flew into the top corner!

Best match for City?

“ I enjoyed playing against Wolverhampton Wanderers where I played up front with Harry Holman. We played them in the FA Cup and went 1-0 up, I think Harry had scored. They equalised with a free-kick, and obviously, Wolves were a bigger side then. I scored to make it 2-1 and they went and scored in the last second of the game with a cracking goal. Their fans went mad and invaded the pitch, knocking all the signs down. Somebody had said that was the fastest they’d ever seen me run, as everyone ran on the pitch, because I was trying to get off it!” 

Best player you played with?

“Tony Kellow is my hero! Always has been and always will be. I named my daughter after him, obviously, she’s called Toni, not Kellow! But there were loads of other good players like Steve Neville and John Sims, I could go on forever. Even lads that couldn’t get in the team that regularly when I was there, there was one called Tony Mitchell who was a defender, and he was the one that Kells used to hate playing against because he was like a leech, he was everywhere. Even though he didn’t play too often, he was still a cracking player.” 

Best away trip? 

“ I used to love going everywhere but there’s one trip to Carlisle which I will always remember! A lad called Andy Bell, who was making his debut, overslept and the game had been called off. We went to go and watch West Bromwich Albion play instead. We were all on the bus coming back down and we suddenly realised that Andy wasn’t on the bus, he’d had a lie in thinking he’d have more time before he had to get up. He ended up getting a taxi to a service station and meeting us there.”

Worst injury? 

“ I damaged my knee which finished my career. It was a tackle at Wrexham from one of their strikers who bust my knee, I was advised to stop playing.”



Appearances as Substitute






Lee Roberts

My Birthplace was WOLVERHAMPTON.

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