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The turnstile operator’s son

I fly back to the UK tomorrow night and will take my place at The Valley on Saturday in the vain hope of having something to cheer about. Hopefully the bit between 3pm and 5 will be as much fun as the before and after.

Before that however I will be at Upton Park on Friday evening with my mates including an ex-turnstile operator that you may have heard off. The reason we’ll be there is to watch Robert Lee’s (he will always be Robert) youngest son Elliot play for the Hammers’ U21 Development team against Manchester United.

When I lived in Hornchurch before I moved to Chicago in 2003 Elliot was a regular at our Monday night indoor football games and even then (he was 9 at the time) he looked a little bit special, mind you Ralph Milne would’ve looked a little bit special against us lot!

Elliot was already at West Ham then and plays as a striker and I am excited to see him play. This season he made his first-team debut as a 78th minute substitute in January in a 1–0 defeat in the FA Cup 3rd Round replay at Old Trafford against Manchester United and I am sure his Dad was very proud.

Lee’s eldest son plays for Edgar Davids at Barnet. A midfielder, like his Dad, Oliver was also at West Ham but left last summer after some loan spells at Dagenham & Redbridge and Gillingham.

I remember being in a pub many years ago and Rob(ert) telling me that Oliver was all about dedication and hard work and will probably make it but his youngest Elliot had everything and will score goals for fun but with a little more focus he could go on to have a top career.

The 18-year old under the legendary tutelage of Tony Carr certainly looks in a good place. The only disappointment is that his Dad never sent him to The Valley or made him do a Saturday job on the turnstiles!

In fact I found this newspaper article from about 18 months ago where Dad talks about how he has handled his two son’s young footballing career. I’ll report back in my scouting mission.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hungry Ted #

    Safe journey over, CA. Let’s hope your presence brings us luck!

    February 28, 2013

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