Brentford goalkeeper Richard Lee to retire at end of 2014/15 seasonBrentford goalkeeper Richard Lee has announced the 2014/15 season will be his last as a professional footballer as he will retire at the end of the campaign.
The 32-year-old made the decision earlier this season and announced it publically on his blog – here – yesterday, January 1.
Richard said: "I made this decision in September, I told the staff at Brentford and they’ve been superb, the manager in particular has been very supportive.
“I am retiring because I have peaked and don’t have the confidence that I can now surpass that peak.
“As a result, football to me now equates to frustration and often pain.
“I do feel blessed to have had so many fantastic memories to take away from the game that will live with me forever.
“Throw in the odd penalty save and all in all you have a reasonable career that spanned 15 years as a professional.”
Brentford signed Richard Lee Watford in the summer of 2010.
Although he started the 2010/11 season on the substitute’s bench his performances in Brentford’s runs in the Carling Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy saw him established as first choice by the mid-way point of the campaign.
Richard’s penalty shoot-out expertise helped The Bees win four spot kick contests in his first season at the Club and although he missed the end of the season – and Brentford’s appearance in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final at Wembley – he was named Supporters’ ‘Player of the Year’.
He has suffered with shoulder injuries over the past few years and has not played a First Team match since a Capital One Cup penalty shoot-out win over Dagenham and Redbridge in August.
Richard dislocated a shoulder in early 2011, had shoulder surgery in the summer of 2013 and had a recurrence earlier this year.
He has played 87 games for Brentford in all competitions in approaching five seasons at Griffin Park, 66 of them in the league.
Mark Warburton, Brentford FC Manager, said: “Richard has been an outstanding professional and someone I have watched develop from his days at Watford through to taking over the number one spot here at Brentford.
“He has always sought to help the younger goalkeepers whilst ensuring he prepares as well as possible in all areas of performance.
“Unfortunately, Rich has suffered a number of injuries and whilst he has worked tirelessly to rehabilitate and return to action as soon as possible, he has reached the stage where he feels he cannot deliver the level of performance that he knows both he and the position demand.
“Rich will continue to work through until the end of the season and be on hand as and when needed and I have no doubts that he will continue to be as professional as ever in all aspects of his work here at the Club.”
Richard Lee’s blog – dickielee.net – has a post outlining his full reasons for retiring.