Tributes paid to former St Albans City goalkeeper Lee Bozier
- Credit: WWW.SAINTSSTATISTICS.CO.UK
The footballing community across St Albans was left saddened and shocked by the death of Lee Bozier at the age of 52.
The goalkeeper, born on June 10, 1968, made over 50 appearances for the St Albans City first team having come through the ranks at St Albans City Youth.
Football was in the blood for Lee with his dad, Dennis, having run the highly successful Don Bosco Youth team and both of his brothers, Dean and Simon, playing in the local scene.
His debut with the Saints didn't come until October 1987 but prior to that he played in more than 80 games for the reserves where he was named as City Youth player of the year in 1986.
He got his chance with the first team regular keeper Mark Pearson, an ever-present since 1983, left to join Dunstable Town.
His debut ended in defeat, fellow Isthmian League Premier Division side Bromley claiming a 2-0 success in the FA Trophy on October 3 and he ended up playing 26 times in total and finished the year with appearances in two cup finals.
The first was with the reserves as they beat their Oxford City counterparts 3-1 to lift the Southern Combination Cup at Kenilworth Road, home of Luton Town. Five days later though St Albans were unable to add to that when a disappointing performance saw them fall to a 3-0 loss against Bishop’s Stortford in Herts Charity Cup.
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Bozier was also now in a battle with the returning Pearson for the number one jersey and it was the latter who got the nod for the1988-89 campaign.
Bozier did appear six times at the start of the 1989-90 season but both he and Pearson were marginalised further by the signing of Paul O’Reilly.
It led to a move north with spells at both Stevenage Borough and Baldock Town. He did pick up another winners' medal though as Stevenage defeated Baldock in the final of the Televised Sport Senior Cup.
Lee rejoined the Saints for a final stint in February 1992 under the management of John Mitchell and was called into the first team for a Billy Minter Invitation Cup tie.
That began a 20-match run between the sticks and what would turn out to be his 52nd and final game for the Saints came during a 2-2 draw in the league at home to Kingstonian.
Away from St Albans City he worked in the family maintenance business but remained highly involved in football in the city, coaching and playing for London Road and Phoenix, both members of the Herts Ad Sunday League.
Those two clubs paid their respects on Twitter and were joined by former team-mates and friends.
Phoenix said: "This week has taken another beloved member of the Phoenix family away from us. May you rest in peace Lee. All of our thoughts and love are with you and your family."
AFC London Road added: "Our former youth manager sadly passed away this week. He made a huge impact on so many of our lives. RIP coach."
Ex-Saint and Tottenham player, Dean Austin, said: "Very sad news. Played with Boze when first joined St Albans City in 1988. He was a real genuine and lovely guy. RIP fella."
Former City manager Graham Golds, who played with him for City Youth, said: "Very sad news. RIP Lee. A lovely guy and a great goalkeeper."
For a full obituary and statistics go to www.saintsstatistics.co.uk