Date and Place of Birth
21st August 1978 - GALWAY
Transfers to and from Burnley
from ASTON VILLA - 7th July 1999 (£200,000)
to ROTHERHAM UNITED - 15th November 2000 (£150,000)
First and Last Burnley Games
WYCOMBE WANDERERS (a) - 7th August 1999
sub: replaced John Mullin
MILLWALL (h) - 22nd April 2000
sub: replaced Andy Payton
ASTON VILLA, TORQUAY UNITED (loan), PORT VALE (loan),
ROTHERHAM UNITED (loan from BURNLEY)
ROTHERHAM UNITED, CARDIFF CITY, IPSWICH TOWN,
CRYSTAL PALACE, NORWICH CITY (loan), HUDDERSFIELD TOWN
Burnley Career Stats
|Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Others||Total|
Profile by Tony Scholes
As Stan Ternent continued the rebuilding of his Burnley squad in the summer of 1999 he targeted a young forward to compliment the two main strikers Andy Cooke and Andy Payton. The player he turned to was Aston Villa's 20-year-old Alan Lee who cost us £200,000.
Lee hadn't played a game in the Villa first team but had twice been out on loan during the 1998/99 season, firstly with Torquay and then Port Vale. He scored five goals in twenty appearances for the two clubs, his first goal coming in 1-1 Boxing Day derby at Exeter.
He went straight into the squad for our opening day game against Wycombe, but had to settle for a place on the subs bench as Ternent went with a 4-5-1 formation. That meant no place for Payton either. He got on at half time for John Mullin with the Clarets coming from behind to earn a draw.
Unfortunately it wasn't the start of a glittering career at Turf Moor. He failed to establish himself and started only two league games in his first season. He scored just one goal, that coming in the Auto Windscreens game at Wigan, days after he'd missed a sitter on the same ground in the league draw.
He'd got his two starts came in the first two home games of the season against Chesterfield and Stoke but with Payton and Cooke in good form he couldn't break into the side. It proved to be a disappointing first season for him, not helped by an injury that kept him out for three months. Maybe had he been fit at the time he would have come in for the suspended Payton in February.
With Phil Gray signed in the summer of 2000 his chances looked even slimmer and it came as no surprise when, in September 2000, he moved to Rotherham on loan. After two months at Millmoor he signed a permanent deal worth £150,000 to Burnley although thankfully we included a sell on clause.
He was transformed and scored fifteen goals that season for Rotherham as they won promotion, the goals including a hat trick against Cambridge. With the promotion that meant a return to Burnley and he played in both games against us without scoring.
In the 2002/03 season though he certainly scored, netting twice in an amazing 6-2 Rotherham win at the Turf as we threw one in. Another former Burnley player John Mullin also scored twice.
Such was his form that, having already won under-21 caps, he won a place in the Republic of Ireland side. It also led to interest from other clubs and in August 2003 he signed for Cardiff in a £850,000 transfer. That brought us some more money from the sell on.
Things were never quite so good for him at Ninian Park and he was in and out of the side for much of his two and a half years there, making almost as many appearances from the bench as he started games.
And on 10th January 2006 one former Burnley striker left Cardiff to be replaced by one future Burnley striker. Alan Lee was allowed to go to Ipswich with Dave Jones bringing in Steven Thompson as his replacement.
Lee hadn't scored against the Clarets for Cardiff as he'd done for Rotherham, but he soon started for Ipswich. He scored his first ever goal at Portman Road against us, equalising an earlier Michael Ricketts goal. He upset the Burnley fans that day. He got away with a foul in the build up to that goal and then took a dive for the penalty that cost us the game.
Wayne Thomas was sent off by the appalling Darren Deadman, the referee whose decisions had handed the game on a plate to the home side.
He scored a stoppage time penalty against us in the same fixture the following season to earn his side a 1-1 draw and last season netted their second in a 2-2 draw at the Turf. He seemed to delight in upsetting the Burnley fans but he was hugely popular with the Ipswich fans.
Then in January 2008, with Andy Gray already packing his bags for Charlton, we were strongly linked with a move to bring him back to Burnley. Even Sky's 'Big League Weekend' programme confirmed it with Peter Beagrie suggesting it wasn't a good move for Burnley.
Lee himself said he didn't want to leave Ipswich and in the end the transfer didn't go through and Lee did stay at Ipswich. He played in Ipswich's win at Burnley but almost immediately after that he was again linked with a return to Turf Moor but once more it didn't happen.
In the end we signed Thompson and Lee moved to Crystal Palace to join Neil Warnock's collection of strikers. Injury problems kept him out of the side for almost three months.
It is very difficult to judge him as a Burnley player given he played so few games for us, but I remember watching him in a reserve game just before he moved to Rotherham. He looked the part but just didn't seem able to impose himself despite his physical attributes.
He certainly learned to do that under Ronnie Moore at Rotherham and he's gone on to have a very successful career in the Championship with his other clubs.
On 19th March 2009, after a few difficult months at Palace, he signed for Norwich City on loan for the remainder of the 2008/09 season. He did, however, return to Palace in the summer and was back in favour during the 2009/10 season, making 48 league and cup appearances in a season when they, having lost ten points on going into adminstration, only avoided relegation on the last day of the season.
He was in the side at the start of the next season, scoring in each of Palace's first two games, but by then they were already negotiating with Huddersfield for his transfer and Lee made the move just a few days before the transfer window close, signing a two year deal with the Terriers in League One.
That two year contract culminated in a substitute appearance at Wembley in the League One play-off final against Sheffield United, won by Huddersfield on penalties.
Lee was rewarded with a further one year deal but he didn't feature as much as he would have liked during the 2012/13 season and new manager Mark Robbins, who had replaced Simon Grayson as manager, released him at the end of the season.