Graeme Lee
Personal information
Full name Graeme Barry Lee[1]
Date of birth (1978-05-31) 31 May 1978 (age 43)
Place of birth Middlesbrough, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[2]
Position(s) Defender
Club information
Current team
Hartlepool United (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–2003 Hartlepool United 225 (20)
2003–2006 Sheffield Wednesday 67 (5)
2006–2008 Doncaster Rovers 60 (5)
2008Hartlepool United (loan) 3 (0)
2008Shrewsbury Town (loan) 5 (0)
2008–2009 Bradford City 44 (2)
2009–2011 Notts County 50 (4)
2011–2012 Darlington 24 (1)
2012–2013 Celtic Nation
Teams managed
2019–2021 Middlesbrough U23s
2021– Hartlepool United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Graeme Barry Lee (born 31 May 1978) is an English professional football manager and former player who played as a defender. He is the manager of Hartlepool United.

He has previously played for Hartlepool United, Sheffield Wednesday, Doncaster Rovers, Bradford City, Darlington and also had loan spells with Hartlepool and Shrewsbury Town. Lee has won the Football League Trophy with Doncaster Rovers, and helped both Hartlepool United and Sheffield Wednesday to promotion in the mid-2000s.

Playing career

Hartlepool United

Born in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, Lee started his career at Hartlepool United, notching up almost 300 appearances at centre back and helping the club secure promotion to the Second Division. Lee also played as a striker for Hartlepool, scoring twenty goals for the club.

Sheffield Wednesday

In 2003, he was snapped up by former boss Chris Turner for Sheffield Wednesday. He made 67 appearances for Wednesday and scored five goals in his first season and took up the captain's arm band when Dean Smith was injured, this made him a shining light in one of the Owl's worst ever seasons which led to him picking up a fans' player of the season award.[3] Lee started the 2004–05 season in the same vein as he ended the last. Although dogged by injuries at the tail end of the season he was voted defender of the year by fans of the club.[4]

Lee playing for Doncaster Rovers
Lee playing for Doncaster Rovers

"Every single one of the players and staff at the club wants promotion. I've come here to help do that and if I can lift something at the end of the season, it would be absolutely brilliant."

Graeme Lee, whilst at Bradford[5]

Doncaster Rovers

Lee was deemed as not good enough for the Championship following the side's promotion by Paul Sturrock and signed for Doncaster Rovers from Sheffield Wednesday for £50,000 in 2005.[6] He was Rovers' captain. He scored the winning goal in their 3–2 win over Bristol Rovers in the 2007 Football League Trophy final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

At the start of the 2007–08 season, he was ruled out for six weeks with a neck problem, and when he returned he was sidelined for another four months because of a fractured knee.[7] Instead on 14 February 2008, Lee signed for former club Hartlepool United on loan for one-month. Following his return to the Keepmoat Stadium, Lee was loaned out again, this time to Shrewsbury Town until the end of the season.[8] He was recalled with two games remaining, after a series of injuries had left Rovers short of defensive cover.[9] In June 2008, after a season in which he was limited to a couple of substitute performances, Lee was released by Doncaster Rovers.

Bradford City

On 30 June 2008, he signed a two-year deal with League Two side Bradford City.[10] On 6 August 2008, Lee was made Bradford City club captain for the 2008–09 season, taking over from David Wetherall, who had retired at the end of the previous season. At the same time, he said it was his goal to lift the league title.[5] He was one of four Bradford players to make his debut on the opening day of the 2008–09 season against Notts County, which Bradford won 2–1.[11] His first goal for the club came in a 3–1 victory at Grimsby Town on 24 October 2008, having played in all City's opening 13 league games of the season.[12] Two weeks later he added a second goal, helping City to upset League One-side Milton Keynes Dons 2–1 in the FA Cup.[13] He played in the club's first 34 league and cup games of the season, before he missed his first game in February because of suspension from picking up five bookings.[14]

Notts County

Lee signed a two-year deal for Notts County joining on a free transfer on 30 June 2009[15] just prior to the infamous takeover of the club by Munto Finance. Lee played an important role as County were promoted as Champions of League Two in 2010 under Ian McParland, Sven-Göran Eriksson, Hans Backe, Dave Kevan and Steve Cotterill. He started the 2010–11 season as first choice centre back for yet another new County manager Craig Short but he would not be part of next manager Paul Ince's plans and was made a free agent in December 2010 bringing to an end a memorable 18 months at the club.


Lee then signed for Darlington on a one-year deal on 30 June 2011. Darlington suffered financial difficulties during Lee's time at the club and his contract was terminated on 16 January 2012, along with the rest of the playing squad and caretaker manager Craig Liddle.[16]

However, despite the ongoing financial and contractual issues at Darlington, Lee continued to play on until a knee injury ruled him out for the remainder of the season.

Lee joined Celtic Nation during the 2012/13 close season break.[17]

Coaching career

In June 2019, Lee was appointed as Middlesbrough U23 head coach.[18] On 1 December 2021, he left his role at Middlesbrough to take over as manager at League Two side Hartlepool United.[19]


Hartlepool United

Sheffield Wednesday

Doncaster Rovers

Notts County

Managerial statistics

As of match played 18 January 2022
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref.
P W D L Win %
Hartlepool United 1 December 2021 Present 9 4 3 2 044.4
Total 9 4 3 2 044.4


  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2009). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2009–10. Mainstream Publishing. p. 247. ISBN 978-1-84596-474-0.
  2. ^ "Name: Graeme Lee". Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  3. ^ "BBC - South Yorkshire Sport - Football Heaven Player of the Season award".
  4. ^ – fan site for Sheffield Wednesday Football Club – The Owls
  5. ^ a b Parker, Simon (6 August 2008). "Lee plots silver service". Telegraph & Argus. Archived from the original on 24 September 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2008.
  6. ^ BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Doncaster | Doncaster agree fee for defender
  7. ^ "Graeme Lee – Bradford". Professional Footballers' Association. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2008.
  8. ^ "Shrews sign Doncaster captain Lee". BBC News. 20 March 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  9. ^ BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Shrewsbury | Doncaster recall Lee from Shrews
  10. ^ "Bradford swoop for defender Lee". BBC Sport. 30 June 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
  11. ^ "Bradford 2–1 Notts County". BBC Sport. 9 August 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
  12. ^ Parker, Simon (24 October 2008). "Grimsby 1 City 3". Telegraph & Argus. Archived from the original on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
  13. ^ "MK Dons 1–2 Bradford". BBC Sport. 8 November 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2008.
  14. ^ Parker, Simon (17 February 2009). "McCall faced with selection headache". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 18 February 2009.[dead link]
  15. ^ "Notts County sign Bradford's Lee". BBC Sport. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  16. ^ "Darlington axe manager Craig Liddle and players". BBC Sport. 16 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  17. ^ "High-Profile Arrivals at Celtic Nation". 20 August 2012. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  18. ^ "Graeme Lee Moves Up To U23 Lead Coach Role". Middlesbrough F.C. 25 June 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  19. ^ "Graeme Lee: Hartlepool United appoint former defender as boss". BBC. 1 December 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  20. ^ "Diamonds win title". BBC Sport. 3 May 2003. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  21. ^ "Hartlepool 2-4 Sheff Wed (aet)". BBC Sport. 29 May 2005. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  22. ^ "Bristol Rovers 2-3 Doncaster AET". BBC Sport. 1 April 2007. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  23. ^ "Doncaster 1-0 Leeds". BBC Sport. 25 May 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  24. ^ Paul Fletcher (21 April 2010). "Notts County's title but Rochdale's triumph". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 December 2021.