Lee Peter Constantine joined Stockport Town FC back in the summer of 2016, following Town’s first ever competitive season in the North West Counties Football League. Returning to full fitness after a long lay-off, Lee went on to become a vital member of Dave Wild’s Lions at the end of last season and throughout this years campaign.
Following consultation from doctors, Lee’s season came to an end after Stockport’s outstanding victory over Hyde United on penalties in the Cheshire Senior Cup, with Constantine scoring one of those winning spot-kicks.
Lee’s first ever game for the club came back in August 2016 in a forgettable 5-1 defeat at home to Whitchurch Alport. Mainly a midfielder throughout his time at Lambeth Grove, Lee has been known to play in various positions, including both full-back roles this season. Over an injury-plagued two years at the club, Lee racked up 34 appearances, scoring one, albeit a match-winner!
After speaking to Lee following his last outing for the club, he looked back on his time at the club. He said: “When I joined Stockport Town it was off the back of a couple of injury hit seasons where I’d hardly played for 18 months, so I just wanted to stay fit and play regularly really. I thought we had a side capable of promotion but it didn’t materialise sadly in my first season.
“I like to think that I was someone who gave his all every time I played and always put the team first.”
Constantine added: “I’ll miss all the lads and staff but in particular, I’m going to miss seeing Izzy Miranda’s big grin a few times a week. He’s one of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve met in football and a quality team mate.”
Despite Lee not setting the league alight with goals from midfield, he had an essence of composure and calmness on the pitch. If ever there were ever a moment in a game that needed a calm head or a quick tactical solution amongst players, Constantine was your man. He was not just a Lion, he was a leader on the pitch.
A teacher in his day-to-day life, Lee has always been intelligent when gracing the football field. From listening to managerial instructions from his boss, Dave Wild, or instructing and helping a fellow professional improve his game, Constantine will be sorely missed at Stockport Town.
“My first goal was the winner against Atherton LR at home this season to make it 2-1 late in the game. I just remember carrying my celebration run on over to the dugout and celebrating with Dave and the rest of the lads.
“In terms of my favourite assist, it was at the beginning of last season at home, we beat Carlisle City 3-1 if I remember correctly. I picked the ball up in our half and beat three or four of their players and squared it for Andy Graham to tap in. That was nice because it was one of my first games for the club and I was still trying to get back to my best at the time.”
Despite an operation in the pipeline for Constantine, he has already made plans of a more positive nature as he sets his sights on travelling the world later this year. He commented: “Now I’m waiting on having treatment on a groin problem that I’ve been carrying for a while, before heading off travelling south-east Asia and Australia in to 2019. I would’ve liked to play on up until flying out there but after scans, doctors orders made it clear that it wasn’t wise unfortunately.”
As far as his favourite moment at the club, Constantine was quick to point to the recent Cup victory over Hyde, Lee said: “I’d have to go with my last game against Hyde. It was just a great result for the club and a nice way for me to finish personally.”
We would like to wish Lee all the best in his surgery and recovery, as well as his time off travelling the world. Lee in turn left us with this message:
“I would just like to thank everyone at the club who work to keep the club running from having the turnstiles manned to making sure we have clean kit and food after games.
“Also I want to thank all my team mates and the staff for making training and games a pleasure week on week, and in particular thank Dave for everything since he came to the club. He’s always been understanding of my injury problems and constantly made me feel wanted and important as a player and person in the squad, along with improving me as a player on the pitch.
I wish everyone connected with the club the very best for the future and hope the lads can finish strongly in the league and cup competitions. It would be nice to have a medal posted out to Oz for me! Up the Lions!”
With that we say farewell to a true professional of the game, to Lee Constantine, to a Lion.