GRAEME Lee is following in the footsteps of his legendary father after taking charge at Spennymoor Town.

The former Middlesbrough academy coach and Hartlepool United boss was given the green light to leave troubled Marske United to join the National League North side, replacing Lewis Dickman in the dugout.

Lee was set to take training and meet Spennymoor's players for the first time on Tuesday night before taking charge of his first game this coming Saturday at home to Brackley Town.

Dickman had been in interim charge following the resignation of Jamie Chandler in September but left after a seven-game winless run in all competitions, with Moors slipping to 16th in National League North.

Lee took charge of Marske in the summer and did an admirable job in incredibly difficult circumstances. The Seasiders face a race against time to raise enough money to survive but despite the future of the club being plunged into uncertainty, Lee lifted Marske out of the Northern Premier League Premier Division relegation zone.

Rather than stand in his way, Lee revealed that Marske's bosses actively encouraged him to pursue other managerial opportunities if the chance presented itself.

And the opportunity to follow in his dad's footsteps at Spennymoor was something he couldn't turn down. Tony Lee, who sadly passed away early last year, was a legend in local non-league management and spent time in charge of Moors in the early 2000s.

Lee is joined by his assistant Ian Clark, who played for Spennymoor.

“We are very pleased to welcome Graeme and Ian to the Football Club,” said Moors’ Managing Director, Ian Geldard.

“They both have a wealth of coaching experience and I know they’re excited by the challenge that lies ahead so we look forward to giving them all the support they need in achieving our goals.

“Having spoken to them, I know how excited they are by the challenge and how determined they are to bring success to the club so everything about this appointment feels positive.

“We now want to see all the supporters getting right behind the new management team and the players as we look to drive real progress and make it a very happy 2024.”


Lee said:  "I'm very excited. We've had a lot going on at Marske, obviously. I got the call to have a chat here and now to be sat here, I'm delighted, it's a great opportunity for me.

"I had a conversation with the chairman at Marske. It's a bad situation there, but a couple of jobs came up before this one and he messaged me and said I need to put my name in. I got a call on this one, it was a job I knew about and the opportunity was too good to turn down.

"The club wants to progress, push up the league and challenge for promotion and that's music to my ears.

"It's 20-odd years to the day of my dad taking charge here funnily enough. My dad was a local manager and would have probably made it higher up the Football League if it wasn't for his mouth! The chance to come here is massive for me, especially after losing him in February last year. He'd be so proud.

"The club is set-up to succeed. If we get promoted the ground is already ready for the next level and probably the next level again. It's a fantastic set-up, it has the academy up and running, it's in a great place and I want to be part of that journey."

In a club statement confirming the exit of Lee and Clark, Marske United said: "We would like to pay tribute to their efforts on and off the pitch and their professionalism throughout their respective spells at Mount Pleasant.

"Since joining the side in the summer, 'Spike' has collaborated phenomenally with our players, volunteers and junior teams, fostering a great collective environment for our community club.

"Likewise 'Clarky', who has been involved at Marske United in various capacities as head coach, player and interim manager, has been a key part of our success for the past 8 years.

"Marske United would like to highlight their fantastic work ethic and constant drive to galvanise the squad, especially given the challenges of the last few months.

"After a difficult start to the season, the ability to find success in the face of off-field adversity and steer a side sitting rock bottom of the league in October out of the relegation zone and to fifth in the form table prior to their final fixture is a remarkable achievement given the circumstances.

"The club wishes Graeme, Ian, and their families every success going forward and they will always be welcome at Mount Pleasant."