Stockily built Sheffield-born outside left John Lee joined the Tigers on a trial in March 1913, bought in by new manager Harry Chapman, a man knolwedgeable about the Sheffield footballing scene of that time. Lee made his first team debut in the fourth game of the 1913/14 season, scoring in a 2-1 win over local rivals Grimsby infront of 12,000 fans – a great way to start a career with the Tigers! A run of 21 starts yielded further goals against Wolves in a 7-1 shellacking, Barnsley in a pre-Christmas 2-0 victory and Bury in a FA Cup replay defeat at Gigg Lane. Following that latter defeat youngster Jack Lyon was preferred at outside left for the remainder of the season and Lee only started three more games.
Lee was again a support player in the opening weeks of 1914/15 season though he did score the winner in a 3-2 victory over Leeds City in mid September. In mid-November new manager Fred Stringer turned to Lee and was quickly rewarded with two goals in a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest. Lee started every game for the rest of the season and contributed a further six goals, including four in five games in late January and early February.
World War One led to the suspension of the Football League in the 1915 close season, Lee remained a regular for City during the subsequent four seasons of regional wartime football. When the Football League returned in 1919 Lee began the season at inside right but was quickly restored to outside left with City’s new signing Bobby Hughes switching wings. Lee was a regular goalscorer in the first four months of the season, pinnacling in December 1919 wth a hattrick in a 5-2 tonking of Lincoln City. His form was starting to attract the interest of other clubs and in February 1920, after scoring a Valentines Day goal in 2-0 win over Fulham, Lee was transferred to Chelsea, another West London club, for a sustantial £1,500 fee.
Lee spent four years at Stamford Bridge but made only seven first team appearances and scored once in March 1920 against The Wednesday. In July 1924 he switched to Watford and a year later he returned to his native South Yorkshire to sign for newly-amalgamated Division Three North side Rotherham United, playing for a season alongside his brother Willis Lee. He later returned to Hull and worked in the docks and died during August 1955 in Belford, Northumberland.
Date/Place of Birth: 6 November 1890, Sheffield
Hull City First Game: 27 September 1913, Grimsby Town H (Division Two), 22 years, 325 days old
Hull City Final Game: 14 February 1920, Fulham H (Division Two), 29 years, 100 days old
Bird in Hand FC, Hull City (1913-1920), Chelsea (1920-1924), Watford (1924-1925), Rotherham United (1925-1926)
Hull City Record
Career: 83 apps, 22 goalsJohn Lee