Spireites stopper targets 200 more

NDET 7-9-13 RKH 46 Tommy Lee
NDET 7-9-13 RKH 46 Tommy Lee

In a week that saw Ritchie Humphreys clock up his 600th career appearance, Saturday will see another Spireite reach a significant milestone.

Should, as expected, Tommy Lee line up between the sticks against Wycombe Wanderers at the Proact Stadium, it will be his 200th league appearance for Chesterfield.

A proud Lee said: “It feels like home. I’ve been lucky with injuries, the fans have been good with me and hopefully I can play 200 more.”

The 27-year-old began his career in Manchester United’s youth set-up before a spell at Macclesfield Town turned permanent in the summer of 2006. He was an ever-present for The Silkmen for 18 months before an injury halted his progress and the good form of his replacement, Jonny Brain, saw his opportunities restricted.

Lee caught the attention of Keith Hill’s promotion chasing Rochdale on an emergency loan. But he was to suffer a play-off heartbreak at Wembley as Stockport County claimed promotion to League One.

Then Chesterfield manager Lee Richardson signed him in August 2008 on a free transfer and he went on to make 32 appearances in his first season for the club.

He was an integral part of John Sheridan’s 2011 promotion winning team that went on to claim a memorable day at Wembley on March 25, 2012 by lifting the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

“It’s almost like I’ve been at two different clubs,” he said on his time with the Spireites. “I had two seasons at Saltergate and then we moved and won the league in our first season.

“Every two years I’ve been here the club has reinvented itself and I think that’s the case this season. We’ve got brand new staff in, new players and things are looking good for us at the minute.”

Lee has recorded four clean sheets in his previous five games as Chesterfield look to revive the form that saw them win seven of their first eight games.

“We’re under no illusions that the league’s the main aim this season. We got our rewards at Torquay be doing all the things we’ve been doing all season,” he added.