Former Preston North End, Everton and Newcastle United manager Gordon Lee passes away

Former Preston North End manager Gordon Lee has died at the age of 87.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 11:44 am

Lee was manager at Deepdale for two years between 1981 and 1983 when they were in the old Third Division.

He succeeded Tommy Docherty in December 1981 after the Scot’s ill-fated five-month reign.

North End had two mid-table finishes under Lee before he was sacked in December 1983 and replaced by Alan Kelly.

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Gordon Lee has a celebratory drink with PNE directors after signing as their new manager

Lee’s managerial career started at Port Vale in 1968, with him moving to Lancashire six years later to become Blackburn Rovers boss.

He led Rovers to the Third Division title in the 1974/75 before leaving to take the Newcastle United job in June 1975.

From Tyneside he moved to Everton in January 1977 and had four years in charge of the Toffees.

Lee led Everton to the 1977 League Cup final and also steered the Blues to two FA Cup semi-finals and two top-four finishes in the First Division.

Gordon Lee is interviewed by Lancashire Evening Post reporter Paul Agnew on the day he left Preston North End

After leaving Everton in May 1981, he was out of management until North End came calling for his services.

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The club were on a sticky wicket at the time, Docherty having won only three league games that season after taking over from Nobby Stiles following relegation from the Second Division.

Results steadily improved under Lee, with PNE finishing 14th in the 1981/82 campaign.

The following season, Lee led the Lilywhites to a 16th place finish. They had a tough first-half to the campaign but lost only one of their last 13 games.

A 2-1 win over Blackpool in the FA Cup was the highlight of the season, with them playing Leeds United at Elland Road in the third round.

North End were up and down with their form in the first-half of the 1983/84 season and that cost Lee his job.

They knocked First Division Wolves out of the League Cup, winning 3-2 at Molineux and 1-0 at Deepdale in the two legs.

But an FA Cup exit to Scunthorpe left them concentrating on the league and the plug was pulled on Lee just before Christmas.

His last game in charge was a 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers.

After leaving PNE, he had a spell managing KR Reykjavík in Iceland before joining Leicester City’s coaching staff.