Lee Sharpe Profile
Lee Stuart Sharpe, born Halesowen, England, May 27, 1971. A determined and hard working winger who would never give Manchester United anything less than his best effort, Lee Sharpe accumulated well over 200 first team appearances during his eight seasons at the Old Trafford club. He was also a fast and explosive performer and very few players of his day could match him for sudden acceleration.
Lee Sharpe kick-started his professional football career with Fourth Division Torquay United where the precociously talented flanker amassed fourteen Football League appearances for The Gulls under Plainmoor boss Cyril Knowles before he was bought by Manchester United chief Alex Ferguson for a transfer fee of £200,000 at the start of the 1988-89 season. With soccer being essentially a game of short bursts of intense activity followed by small periods of rest, his greatest attribute as a footballer was his ability to accelerate past an opposing defender at the exact right moment. Sharpe was given his Manchester United debut in a 2-0 First Division win against West Ham United at Old Trafford on the 24th of September 1988, and made his second start under Ferguson in a 1-0 League Cup Second Round First Leg victory over Fourth Division side Rotherham United at Millmoor four days later. Sharpe registered his first Division One goal for United in a 5-1 triumph at home to Millwall on the 16th of September 1989 and went on to become part of the extremely successful side of the early 1990s. While at Manchester United, he contributed 36 goals in 263 appearances in all competitions and won the Premier League in 1993-94, 1994-95, and 1996-97; the FA Cup in 1994 and 1996; the League Cup in 1992; and the Charity Shield in 1990; as well as the European Cup Winners´Cup in 1991.
But with new talents coming through the ranks, Sharpe gradually found his first team opportunities limited and left Old Trafford when he was sold to old rivals Leeds United for a transfer fee of £4.5 million at the beginning of the 1996-97 campaign. At Elland Road, the flank forward amassed 30 Premier League appearances for The Whites and also had a loan stint at Sampdoria for whom he made three Italian Serie A outings during the 1998-99 season. Following a loan spell with neighbouring Bradford City during the spring of 1999, he signed a permanent deal with the Valley Parade club at the start of the 1999-2000 campaign. The imaginative wingman later featured for several teams, including Portsmouth, Exeter City, and Garforth Town. Blessed with dazzling skills and ball control, he collected a total of eight full caps for his native England after being handed his senior debut by Graham Taylor in a 1-1 European Championship Qualifier draw against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley Stadium on the 27th of March 1991. Sharpe finally became disillusioned with his sport and decided to make his retirement in 2006, at the age of 35. Lee Sharpe Playing Career: Torquay United, Manchester United, Leeds United, Sampdoria, Bradford City, Portsmouth, Exeter City, Grindavik, Garforth Town. Playing Honours: English Premier League 1993, 1994, 1996, English FA Cup 1994, 1996, English Football League Cup 1992, English FA Charity Shield 1990, 1993, 1994, UEFA European Cup Winners’ Cup 1991.
Lee Sharpe Quickfacts
Lee Sharpe registered a hat-trick as Manchester United demolished Arsenal 6-2 in a League Cup Fourth Round tie at Highbury on the 28th of November 1990. Welsh international Clayton Blackmore gave United the lead after just two minutes before fellow countryman Mark Hughes added a second goal for the visitors in the 44th minute. Sharpe then went on to score a treble for the visiting side while ex-Southampton winger Danny Wallace scored their sixth goal with nine minutes left. And although Alan Smith managed to find the back of the net twice for The Gunners, the hosts never really stood a chance in this League Cup game.