Ahead of Exeter City's trip to Mansfield Town on Saturday, we take a look at some of the numbers behind Mansfield-born Lee Holmes' career so far.
One of the most experienced players in Exeter City’s squad, Lee Holmes came up through the ranks at Derby County, making his senior bow on Boxing day 2002, aged just fifteen.
Having spent eight years at Pride Park, he moved onto Southampton and then Preston North End, arriving at St James Park on loan from the latter in March 2015. A key creative presence at the heart of City’s midfield he has helped the Grecians to two play-off Finals in his three full seasons with the club.
38 – A precocious young talent, Lee first burst into the national headlines at the age of fifteen, when he scored a stunning solo goal just thirty-eight seconds into his England under-16 debut against Northern Ireland in 2002. Having helped the Young Lions to that year’s Victory Shield, he would go on to be a regular for England at age-group-level, often turning out for both the under-17s and under-19s.
8 – After a series of spells, both loan and permanent, at clubs across England, Lee joined Exeter on loan in March 2015, making his debut in a tightly contested 0-0 draw at home to Stevenage. He would go on to feature on eight occasions before deciding to commit his future to the Grecians at the end of the campaign.
271 – Although a regular in the starting line-up, Lee had to wait until late September 2015 to open his account for the Grecians, 271 miles away at the Crown Ground, home of Accrington Stanley. With the clock ticking into its 75th-minute, and City trailing 4-0, he latched onto the end of a cross, slotting a neat left-footed finish into the bottom corner of the net. A late goal from Joel Grant further tidied up the scoreline, with the match finishing 4-2.
50 – With the corner flag on average sitting a full fifty yards away from the centre of the goal, it is extremely rare to see a keeper beaten directly from this most awkward of angles. On 8 January 2016, however, Lee did just that against Premier League giants Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup. With the game balanced at 1-1 at the end of the first half, Lee bamboozled the Reds’ keeper, Adam Bogdan, with a left-footed in-swinger to write his name in Grecians’ folklore on one of the most famous night in Exeter City’s proud history.
12 – His goal against Liverpool, however, was not the only bright spot in a season that would see him net three goals and make a stunning twelve assists in forty-one appearances. For his sterling efforts, Lee was voted as the club’s 2015/16 Player of the Season by Exeter City’s fans.
4 – Lee started the following campaign in a similarly impressive fashion, finding the net five times in his first sixteen outings. However, disaster struck when the Grecians travelled to Yeovil on Boxing Day, when he damaged the ligaments in his ankle. Requiring surgery, he was out of the game for nearly four full months. Nevertheless, exhibiting the grit that has won him adoration on the pitch, he battled back against any negative prognoses, returning to action before the end of the season to help the Grecians into the 2017 League Two play-off final.
1 – A solid performer last time out, with three goals in twenty-eight appearances, Lee began the 2018/19 season at this creative best, marking the beginning of the campaign with an assist, teeing up Jonathan Forte as the Grecians beat Carlisle United 3-1.
Up next at St James Park:
City face West Ham under-21s on Saturday, September 25 in a 7:45pm kick-off. Click here to purchase tickets online!