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Historic Wanderers: Francis Lee

Next up for the interesting Wanderers from days gone by is Francis Lee.

Lee playing for England in 1971
Lee playing for England in 1971
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Francis "Franny" Lee began his career at Bolton Wanderers before moving onto Manchester City and Derby County. The forward made 189 appearances for the Trotters scoring 92 goals before moving to City for a then club record fee of £60,000.

In his first season in Manchester he won the League Championship and scored one of his 112 goals in the title deciding end of season match against Newcastle United. The next season Lee was part of the team which won the FA Cup before scoring in the final of the European Cup Winners Cup the year after.

Lee would go on to represent England at the World Cup in Mexico in 1970 becoming the first English player to get carded at a World Cup apparently. I do struggle to believe that but I live life by a basic mantra being that Wikipedia knows best. The season after that Lee set the British record for the most penalties scored in a season with 15 of his 35 goal coming from the spot. Many of these penalties were won by Lee who gained a reputation for going down easily. This even led to a fight with Leeds United’s Norman Hunter where punches were thrown and the pair were sent off.

He made 249 appearances for City and also holds the record for the most goals in Manchester derbies joint with Joe Hayes and Wayne Rooney on 10. City then sold him onto Derby where he would win the league again in his first season.

After retiring Lee would move into business setting up a toilet roll manufacturing business of all things. His business at one point employed local comedian Peter Kay. This venture would make Lee into a millionaire.

He would use some of this fortune to buy City but oversaw an unsuccessful spell at the club despite some big talk. He oversaw one relegation and left the club on the brink of falling into the third tier.

In 2010 he was introduced to the English Football Hall of Fame and would receive a CBE in 2016 for services to football and charity.