Lee Chapman was a classic brave centre-forward for Leeds, Sheffield
Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and several other clubs. His early
promise at Stoke included a hat-trick scored at Elland Road, and
brought him national attention, but his arrival at Arsenal coincided
with a period of intense factionalism within the club and the
dismissal of Terry Neill and Chapman had a far from happy time at
Highbury. Another move to Sunderland to link up with former Stoke
boss Alan Durban turned sour when he too was sacked. He finally
struck it lucky with his next move, linking up with Wilko at
Sheffield Wednesday - the long ball game suiting the big striker
down to the ground.
Wednesday's lack of ambition was starting to drive both players and
manager away, and Chapman left the club shortly before Wilko moved up
the M1 to Leeds. A move to Forest looked likely, but he ended up in
the middle of France, playing for Niort, a club whose finances were
shaky to say the least. After a short while, it became clear how much
of a basket case the club was and Lee was back in England with
Chapman was re-signed by Wilko halfway through the 1989-90 season,
and his 12 goals helped make the difference between going up as
champions instead of getting into the play-offs. His obvious
contributions to the side that won the Championship in 1992
can't be overstated, and he finished as leading scorer each
year before finally leaving the club in 1993. He did return to
Leeds for a brief spell on loan, playing against West Ham and
Liverpool in January 1996 - but that wasn't a totally happy
comeback since he was red-carded by a cross-eyed ref who thought
that he had deliberately aimed an elbow at a West Ham player
as both men went for a 50-50 ball.
Now retired from the game, he is an occasional summariser
on the TV and owns several successful clubs and restaurants in
partnership with his wife, actress Leslie Ash.
Jabba says: Cheers to Ralph of Pride of Anglia for the
Deni Marice says: He was a great player. I saw him when in Leeds
90/93 and I think he's good in the air and the shot is not too bad. As
a tall player his speed is not too fast but his instinct as a striker
Brian Durrant from The
Sick Parrot says: When Ipswich bought Lee Chapman, we were quite
optimistic as he had played some fine games against us in the
past. However he was now somewhat injury-prone and even when fit, was
nothing like the striker he had been at Leeds.
Tore Markussen says: The most brilliant I've ever seen Lee do, was
taking down a high ball. It came from the center line.....far out to
the left. He was standing on the 16m with his back to the goal. 4
defenders were also on a line outside the penalty area. He turned to
his left with the ball dead on his foot...gently he swung the ball
towards the goal....he was now on the 11m mark...the defenders didnt
know what hit em..and all of em were standing still...he hammered it
in the goal.... It was an awsome goal...I can still see it in my
head. WORLD CLASS!
Dave says: Lee Chapman, like Brian Deane, must be one of the most
under-rated players of the modern era. Never mind this fancy 'keep
the ball on the ground stuff', if you've got players who are good in
the air, play to their stengths. I used to see Lee play at Stoke and
it was obvious he was eventually going to grace a top team - he did
that at Leeds.
Jan Egil from OSLO, Norway says: Every Leeds fan should love this
guy and what he did for the club. If you haven't seen him buy yourself
a video tape of him. A true GOALSCORER.
Jono says: Lee Chapman is without doubt the best centre forward ive
ever seen at Elland road ive had a season ticket since 88 and would
still have chappy in my team now if he was still playing it was the
best day of my life when we brought him back on loan but that went
sour due to a poor refereeing decision against West ham thanks chappy
WE ARE LEEDS
Elisabeth Craig says: Is Lee Chapman the son of Tony and Rita
Chapman and brother of Nicky? If he is we knew him as a younngster in
Cape Town where his Dad was playing alongside my husband and George
Eastham. If it is the same Lee Chapman he will remember my Labrador,
Katie. Jabba says: his dad was called Roy, so I guess it must be
a different one!
Mike says: Just listeninig to Lee Chapman on Century FM. Sounds a
thoroughly decent and well-balanced bloke, and he was indeed a top
player in his time.
anon says: My dad dd not believe that lee played for leeds!!!!!!
graham heraty says: what i do for a player lke this to be playing
on sat against arsenal. this is a true goalscorer and i dont no why he
never played for england full team
Jacqueline says: Did Lee Chapman score the first English
Premiership hat-trick? Jabba says: nope - Eric Cantona was certainly
the first Leeds player to net a hat-trick in the Premiership on August
25 of the first season in the home game against Spurs.
Knut Fjellby says: A fantastic player. Almost as good as Svein
Niall says: Lee played out his career as a favour to Jan Molby at
Swansea, then a fast-sinking 2nd side side in 1995/6. He gave a good
return in a limited amount of end-seasons games, playing up front
alongside Steve Torpey (now at Scunthorpe). A particular memory was
Lee getting a goal at Wycombe and turning away to blow a kiss to his
wife Lesley Ash, who was sitting in the stand. No pretensions about
him, top bloke.
Nattawan says: He sent me 2 letters (one with his pic)in 1993 and
1994 . What a wonderful thing . I live in Thailand and he was in
Leeds and Westham . I really want to know his current address or
email address so that I can write him a letter to tell him that how I
am . I have not wriiten him for nearly 10 years .
Fred A says: Saw Lee play at for Leeds at Forest for Wilko's newly
promoted Leeds, last game of the season. A cracker of a match, one of
the most entertaining that I've ever been to: even though we lost 4-3
to an excellent Forest side, 2-0 down with only 15 minutes gone. The
significant thing is that the Forest supporters were really giving
Chapman some stick as a former player. He responded with 2 goals
including his 200th career goal. Whilst probably not the most
bewitching of players to watch, he did score some superb goals and his
bravery and commitment to the cause were never in doubt: undeservedly
the subject of derision simply for playing to his strengths and doing
that to great effect for Leeds. A true Leeds legend.
James Akinfenwa says: Saw him on TV....he was simply marvelous!
Daryl Andrews says: he was terrible! i fink he was 1 of the most
overated players ever 2 play in english football, he couldnt turn and
even 4 a big lummox he was pretty poor in the air! His passing wasnt
particularly good neither was his shot accuracy. on the whole i think
he is nothing more than a lanky streak of p***!
Doc says: Was thinking about going to Chappo's new restaurant. I
hear they have cracking ribs...
hrs says: I often watched Lee Chapman during his time at Stoke. He
was an important part of one of the better Stoke teams of the last 30
years, and formed an excellent partnership up front with Adrian Heath,
who went to Everton. It was Stoke's loss when he went.