The Gloucester Gulls are proud to announce that they will be sponsoring Lee Mansell, the current Torquay United Player of Year, for the 2007/08 season.
Sponsored by the Gloucester Gulls
Lee Richard Samuel Mansell was born in Gloucester on 23 September 1982. He was first spotted by a scout from Luton Town playing football for the Gloucestershire Primary Schools Football Association (GPSFA) during the 1992/3 and 1993/4 seasons. In total he represented the GPSFA A- side a total of 62 times, scoring 18 goals; and appeared 10 times - scoring 5 goals - for the B-side.
Lee joined Luton Town as a schoolboy in their Centre of Excellence, before scoring in his youth team debut at the age of 16 in October. Lee signed a three-year scholarship in summer 1999, and played in 30 out of 32 Youth Alliance matches in the 1999/00 season, along with 5 reserve team appearances.
Lee made a sensational start to his first-team career in the 2000/01 season. He was drafted into the Luton side during an injury crisis for an FA Cup Third Round replay at QPR and he scored after just 47 seconds for a dream debut. After that fine start, Lee stayed in the side for the following game and he went on to become a regular member of the side, making a total of 19 appearances in all competitions and scoring 6 goals. He was undoubtedly the find of a very disappointing season for Luton as the Hatters slipped into Division Three and he soon became a firm favourite with the home supporters.
He was rewarded for his efforts with a three-year professional contract and there were high hopes that he could reproduce the form he showed during the 2000/01 season as Luton attempted to bounce back at the first attempt. He was also voted the Young Player of the Year.
Although Lee started the 2001/02 as a regular member of the Luton Town first team, he spent the majority of the season in the reserve team. He also failed to make a breakthrough into the first team the following season and although a regular for the Hatters' reserve side during the season, he was loaned to Conference outfit Nuneaton Borough on transfer deadline day to gain some first-team experience. Once again he made a dramatic impact on his debut when he scored for Nuneaton but also scored an own goal. Even though Lee scored two goals in five appearances, his performances were unable to help Nuneaton survive relegation and they dropped out of the Conference.
After returning to Luton Town, Lee forced his way back into the first team at the start of the 2003/04 season and stayed in the team for a long part of the season, however he ended the season on the substitutes bench as first team appearances became limited. The 2004/05 season again saw limited first team appearances however he was however a key figure in the Luton Town reserves side which won a League and Cup double.
After enduring trials spells at Notts County, Bristol Rovers and Oxford United, Lee was released at the end of his contract and he began the search for a new club for the 2005-06 season after a total of 47 League appearances and 8 goals during his Luton Town career.
Having impressed during his trial spell with Oxford United, he joined the club on a one-year deal. However after 44 appearances for Oxford - mostly at right-back - he couldn't prevent the club from relegation from the Football League to the Conference. Lee was a popular player at the Kassam Stadium and won the club's Player of the Year award.
At the end of the 2005/06 season, Lee was sold for an undisclosed fee to Torquay United and thus stayed in the Football League. However, in a cruel twist of fate, despite appearing in all but one of the Gulls senior league and cup games, he again suffered the taste of relegation from the Football League as the Gulls finished bottom of League Two. He was however voted the fan's Player of the Season.
Hopefully the 2007/08 season will prove to be altogether a more successful season for both Lee and Torquay United as they fight to win promotion from the Blue Square Premier League and regain their Football League status.
Good luck Lee !
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