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Sammy Lee is Assistant Manager for Liverpool in the English Premier League. He has long had Liverpool in his heart, having spent many of his years as a player and coach at the Merseyside outfit. He is currently the number two to Rafael Benitez, and seems to fit the Assistant role better than being the manager – his only managerial role ended with one win in 11 matches, and the sack.
Sammy Lee was born on 7th February 1959, in Liverpool. He was spotted as a player of some potential as a child, and joined the Liverpool youth academy. He slowly progressed into the first-team as a hard-running midfielder, and became an integral member of the successful 1980s Liverpool side that won the English league title three times and the European Cup twice. He was capped by England 14 times by manager Bobby Robson.
As he aged, his place in the first-team was taken by a young Jan Molby, so Sammy headed round QPR, Osasuna, Southampton and Bolton before hanging up his boots.
Two years after retiring from football as a player, he returned to the beautiful game as a coach under manager and friend Graeme Souness at Liverpool. His leadership and coaching abilities ensured that he was kept on at Liverpool even after Souness had gone – working under both Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier.
A stint working part-time with the national side under Sven Goran Eriksson led to a permanent position, but Sammy Lee left when Sven was fired. Lee teamed up with Sam Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers, getting the nickname “little Sam” because of his size. When “Big Sam” left, Sammy Lee was handed the managerial reins, but failed to find the winning formula. He was sacked after 11 games in charge.
Sammy Lee returned to Anfield in May 2008, with Rafael Benitez having been searching for an Assistant Manager for the whole of the previous season. He formed a fantastic partnership with Benitez, and is more suited as an Assistant – where he can be a friend to the players and not quite as ruthless as the manager has to be.
He has played his part in helping Liverpool to put up a genuine title challenge.
Sammy Lee played 14 times for England, and worked both part-time and full-time as a coach for England when Sven Goran Eriksson was manager. He left the post, citing the workload, but insists that working for his country was one of the best roles he has had.