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Leslie Lea

Personal information
Playing positionMidfielder (retired)

     Home | Football | Leslie Lea

Leslie Lea (born October 5, 1942 in Manchester) is an English former professional footballer. He played as a midfielder.

Lea began his professional career with Blackpool in 1960, making his debut in the opening game of the 1960 61 league campaign. He scored his first goal for the club in their fourth league game, a 3 1 defeat at Tottenham on August 31, 1960. He made six other league appearances that term, the last one being on October 1, meaning he sat out the remaining six months of the season.

He didn't feature at all in 1961 62, but the following season, 1962 63, he featured in half of the league campaign. He also scored two goals, in consecutive games as the season drew to a close: firstly in a 3 2 victory over Arsenal at Bloomfield Road on April 27, 1963, and then in a 3 0 whitewash of Manchester City at Maine Road on May 4.

In 1963 64, Lea made 30 league starts, scoring a solitary goal (in the final league game of the season).

He continued to be a regular fixture in Ron Suart's teams throughout 1964 65, making another 30 league appearances and scoring twice, both in victories: 4 2 at home to Blackburn Rovers on August 24, 1964, and 3 1 in Blackpool's hosting of Sunderland on September 26. He also scored in their League Cup second round win against Newcastle three days earlier.

Lea's goals during the 1965 66 league season all came in victories once more: one in a 2 1 scoreline against Sheffield Wednesday on November 27, 1965; both goals in a 2 1 victory at Leeds United on March 26, 1966; and one in a 3 0 win at home over Northampton in the penultimate game of the league season. He scored in the League Cup for the second consecutive season, again in the second round, but this time in a 5 1 victory over Manchester United, with Ray Charnley netting a hat-trick. His goals could not save Blackpool from relegation, however, and they dropped into Division Two at the end of the season, four months after Ron Suart was replaced as manager by Stan Mortensen.

Lea's final appearance for Blackpool came eighteen games into the 1967 68 league calendar, a 2 0 defeat at home to Norwich City. Stan Mortensen, who had brought in Alan Skirton, sold him to Cardiff City for £20,000. He went on to make 76 league appearances for the Bluebirds in three years, scoring seven goals.

He finished his playing career with Barnsley. In six years at Oakwell, he made over 200 league appearances and scored 32 goals.

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