In a career that started in Plymouth Argyle’s first-team as a sixteen-year-old, Lee Phillips always played outside the Football League as soon as he left Home Park. Moving first to Weymouth, he enjoyed two Conference seasons with the Grecians before moving on to Torquay United, Rushden & Diamonds, Weymouth (again), Cambridge United and Bath City.
Showing promise as a rugby player in West Cornwall, and winning representative honours along the way, Lee eventually opted for football and made his Plymouth Argyle debut as a sixteen-year-old in October 1996. Playing just once more that season, and with another ten league and cup outings in the 1997/98 season, Lee featured 21 times in 1998/99 when he scored his only Argyle goal in the May 1999 game in which Carlisle dramatically avoided relegation from the Football League. Suffering a bad leg break, Lee no longer prospered at Home Park and moved to Weymouth in January 2001 initially on loan but soon permanently. After a loan stint at Newport County, Lee went from strength-to-strength with the Terras and - in February 2005 - signed for Exeter City together with teammate Steve Tully who was rebuilding his career after his own release from Torquay.
With the Grecians in their second season in the Conference, Lee made his debut against York City on 22 February 2005 and went on to score four times in 14 league appearances during what was left of the season.
Relishing the task, Lee then notched 15 goals from 40 competitive appearances during 2005/06 as he finished as City’s top scorer prior to adding seven during the following campaign including goals against Oxford in the play-off semi-final and Morecambe in the final at Wembley.
Lee’s 8th minute opener against Morecambe - prior to his replacement by Adam Stansfield after thirty-six minutes - proved to be his last for the Grecians as he was soon part of Paul Buckle’s spending spree at Torquay United. Moving for a reported £17,500 fee in June 2007, Lee scored 16 league and cup goals during 2007/08 although his season ended in the disappointment of both a play-off semi-final defeat to Exeter City and a FA Trophy loss to Ebbsfleet United.
Lee soon left Torquay for a brief stint at Rushden & Diamonds before returning to Weymouth ahead of a switch to Cambridge United in March 2009 after a financial crisis engulfed the Dorset club. He then started to drop down the leagues with an August 2010 move to Bath City, a short period on loan at Eastleigh and a stint of several seasons at Chippenham Town.
Lee, now living and working in Plymouth, later played for Exmouth Town and Saltash United - with whom he won the Cornwall Senior Cup in 2018 - before his brief involvement as part of the management team at St Blazey during 2021/22.
League 89 (play-offs 2); Cups 4 (93)