Lee Rogers joined the Spireites at a time of struggle and stayed to enjoy a long and distinguished career, contributing much to the club's upturn in fortunes under John Duncan. Discarded by Doncaster Rovers in 1986, he came through pre-season trials to earn a Chesterfield contract. The story goes that, in trying to decide between Lee and Brian Scrimgeour for the last squad place, manager John Duncan apparently had them complete a sprint race against eachother. Scrim's fitness had lapsed a little as he moved from the full-time game to running a pub in the town; needless to say, Lee won the full-time deal.
featured in either full-back berth, but also forged a memorable centre-half
pairing with Tony Brien. There were few
frills to his game, but he was a versatile, unselfish and completely reliable
player, whose consistent, solid play shone like a beacon. He was also instantly
recognisable, since he would always nervously fiddle with his shorts, as if, in
twelve years, the club were unable to find a pair that quite fitted him!
Lee was calm
and undemonstrative on the pitch, for the most part - a notable exception being
when he crashed a shot into a Lincoln net to record his only senior goal for
Chesterfield. After that, he developed a
taste for the occasional long-range pot at goal but, typically, never did this
to the detriment of a better attacking opportunity. In 392 first-team appearances he maintained
an excellent disciplinary record, becoming a great credit to the club.
Lee capped a
successful testimonial season with a friendly against Nottingham Forest in
August '96,but in his final season, 1997-8, injury restricted him just two full
appearances. It was with sadness, then,
but not surprise, that Lee’s release was announced in May, '98. Peculiarly, “Nobby” spent most of his last
first-team game at Saltergate in the nets, after injury to Billy Mercer. He applied for the position of Community
Officer but lost out to Nicky Law for that, before signing for
Gainsborough. Upon completely retiring
from football, Lee became a police officer - one of several ex-Spireites to
have taken such a career path.
For Chesterfield: 310+24 Football League appearances; one goal.