After twelve seasons with the club, over 300 appearances as a player and 200 more as part of the managerial team Lee Andrews will bid farewell to the club at the end of this week.
He has served the Reds with distinction over the past eleven years, retaining a rare dignity throughout his time at Borough Park.
A refreshing honesty has always been his hallmark and the following farewell message to the Workington supporters is typical of the man – appreciative of the contribution of others but modestly dismissive of what he has given to the cause.
I would like to share my disappointment regarding the situation we find ourselves in.
Having put together a squad with Dabba in the summer, we felt we would be competing at the other end of the table challenging for promotion but, instead, find ourselves relegated.
For this far from ideal situation, I apologise. The players feel exactly the same and accept that, as a group, we have not been good enough this season.
It is now time for someone else to take the club forward, see things with a fresh pair of eyes and bring new impetus to the club.
For me, I look forward to spending more time with my wonderful family.
But I have been a Red for eleven and half years and, from day one, was made to feel welcome and at home. I would like to thank you all.
The Workington supporters are fantastic and we have shared many happy times during my time here. The ‘fun bus’ crew always provided a massive lift when we played away so thank you for your greatly appreciated support.
I would like to say a big thank you to Jeff and Dennis for their relentless efforts on the pitch, Phil and Clarky for their never-ending work as kit-men, Alec, whose secretarial work goes unnoticed, and Darrell who has been at the club for a relatively short period but brings so much in terms of making us more professional and last, but not least, all the volunteers who work at the club. Without them, Workington Reds would not be here.
Special thanks also to the Board of Directors for their support and giving me the opportunity to manage this great club.
I often talk about the spirit that we have in the dressing room and how unique it is but that is due to the players that I have had the pleasure to play alongside and manage over the past eleven years. It has been brilliant and I have loved every minute of my time at the club.
In my time here there have been many ups and downs but definitely more ups and I have shared those experiences with some great people. This season has been the most disappointing but, as a club, it is important for everyone to pull together, put personal agendas to one side, sing off the same hymn sheet and the potential is there for an exciting future.
I would like to conclude by giving my biggest thank you to my family. My parents have supported me relentlessly in terms of the football, travelling all over the country to support me.
People talk about the sacrifices footballers have to make but, in my opinion, it is the players’ families who suffer more. Not being able to attend Christmas get-togethers, birthdays and other family occasions often playing second fiddle to football, and being understanding and supportive when the going gets tough.
So thank you to my wife, Jane, Tom and Ems for allowing me to do this, always being there through the ups and downs and for your unconditional love throughout.
Whoever comes in to lead this club deserves, at the very least, the same support I have had from you all.
Thanks for the memories.
- 2001 – Lee makes his Football League debut for Carlisle United on the opening day of the ’01-02 season. Tony Hopper also in the Blues starting XI.
- 2003 – Plays at Borough Park for the first time but in the colours of Carlisle United in a pre-season friendly.
- 2008 – Signs for Reds in January of that year and comes on as a substitute for Phil McLuckie in his first Conference North game.
- 2009 – Plays in Reds’ 3-0 FA Trophy win at Barrow. Returns to Brunton Park and helps us win the Cumberland Cup at Penrith’s expense. Voted Supporters’ Player of the Year.
- 2010 – Man of the match in the heart-breaking Trophy defeat at Stevenage. Scores first competitive goal in 103 starts. Another ‘player of the year’ award.
- 2013 – Skippers Reds for the first time. Makes his 200th appearance for the club.
- 2018 – Makes his 319th (and final) playing appearance as a makeshift centre forward at Coalville Town.
- 2019 – Steps down as manager, the end of an era.