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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Superman? Batman? No, Utilityman!

Wednesday skipper Lee Bullen started his 103rd match in the blue and white in the 2-0 victory over rivals Sheffield United - here, Ashley Ball waxes lyrical about the Scotsman...

Referring to him as the Scottish Pele is a little unrealistic, but the veteran 'utility man' certainly is the ultimate professional, and has cemented his place in the hearts of all Wednesdayites, thanks to his undoubted commitment and willingness to help out in times of crisis.

Lee began his career at Meadowbank Thistle, after being scouted as a youngster, he then moved on to Stenhousemuir, whilst working part time in a bank, he made his first move abroad to Australia as Lee says "things weren't going well for me at the time in Scotland" his decision was aided by having family in Australia, he joined a club called Stanmore, then moved onto Wollongong Wolves before moving onto Hong Kong, playing in a prestigious game against the English national team in 1996, whilst in Hong Kong he impressed a Greek business man who owned his hometown club in Greece.

Along with a few other players in Hong Kong, the chairman offered terms at a club called Kalamata, and the globetrotting Bullen moved once again.

Lee, finally returned back to his homeland and enjoyed a successful period at Dunfermline, it was in this time that they reached a League Cup Final before the fairytale ended against Celtic.

Chris Turner brought Lee to South Yorkshire at the beginning of the 2004-05 campaign. The little known player at the time immediately endeared himself to the fans at the first away game at Blackpool, despite playing out of position at left back, (however he was to become familiar with the adopted role of utility man) he managed to grab a goal, and this is the one he described as his favourite in an Owls shirt.

During the promotion season Lee showed both his versatility and desire to fight for the cause, this will have further improved his popularity with the Hillsborough faithful.

He describes leading the Owls out at the Playoff final in Cardiff as his proudest moment. His first season with the Owls ended with 6 goals, including a stunning volley against Torquay.

Along with the promotion Lee also earned the 05/06 Wash and Go player of the season award, for playing in all eleven positions for the Owls, including an appearance in goal at Millwall, when David Lucas got seriously injured, with no keeper on the bench, the ever willing Bullen offered his services, Bullen jokes that the only thing rarer than a Scotsman keeping a clean sheet is an American (Frank Simek) getting the winning goal!

That win in South London turned out to be vital as the Owls built on that performance and managed to survive in the Championship rather comfortably in the end of their first season back in the second tier, despite a relatively slow start.

Last season saw a lesser involved Bullen, mainly due to the development of defender Frank Simek, alongside the experienced Graham Coughlan added to this was the good form of academy graduate Richard Wood, whom the Scotsman rates highly. A highlight of that season for Bullen was getting the equaliser against Manchester City in an FA Cup replay.

This season has seen Lee in and out of the first team and with only a year left on his contract the 36 year olds Hillsborough days appear to be numbered, with a return to Scotland seeming most likely.

The future for Lee seems to be as cultured as his career so far. Not only is he undertaking a Sports Journalism degree at Stafford University, but he is also at Grade A with UEFA coaching badges, and has also spent time coaching the under 15s and 16s at the Middlewood Training Ground, added to this the experience and the links abroad, football management could also be on the horizon for the Scot. He agrees but hints that it`s a matter of "getting your foot in the door."

As for Sheffield Wednesday`s future he predicts that success may not be all that far away. For 17 year old Mark Beevers in particular, he suggests that either he will go on to make the Owls "a lot of money" or be a "great servant to the club" or that due to the financial predicament that the Owls find themselves in that this can only be a good thing.

Lee has made himself a Wednesday hero due to his commitment to fight for the cause and willingness to "fill in" when injuries and suspensions occur. Added to this, he has been the ultimate professional in his time at Hillsborough and described it as a "fantastic club to play for." The likes of Bullen are now a rare breed in the English game, but his time at Hillsborough will live long in the memory of Owls fans and he would certainly be a popular choice for a future Sheffield Wednesday manager.

In the modern day game it seems, there's only one Lee Bullen.




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 22 2008

Time: 10:00AM

Your Comments

im sorry but commitment and loyalty is no substitute for skill and ability!! my stress levels will be seriously lower at games once he's gone!! to many mistakes that cost us come from him!!
FUTURES BLUE N WHITE
Has been a great professional for us but the years have caught up with him over the last few seasons and will make at least one mistake every game he plays, but still love the guy!! :)
will it ever happen
Yeah have to admit his form has dipped dramatically this season, and age has caught up with him at this level. But he'll always be a fans favourite thanks to that promotion season and playing in all 11 positions.
johnnywalker69
hes been as good for us as we have for him but its time at the end of season to say goodbye and thanks for the memories mr bullen. them there legs have gone and its time to go back to the pop and crisp league in scotland
mick66owl
i think we should offer him a role as a coach at the end of the season, if hes already a uefa A grade then he must be a half decent coach, n who knows maybe the one day hell lead us out at wembley as gaffer:D
smiggyswfc
He still made the championship team of the week this week along woth Whelan
McQuaid-Owls
shows you how bad championship is then dont it. he he he he. wernt there any blunts in it?????????????????????????
mick66owl
Nick Fine job. Wish there were a gew more of his type around in these modern times, for me he always brings to mind the likes of Micky Lyons, in terms of spirit, attitude, leadership and commitment. Saturday maybe one of the final times where his character helped to lift and carry others around him (as he has done ever since he arrived in S6) - it will be a good memory for him and for all of us. Great piece
DB2002
he was good against the blunts. if he played like that every week simek would have a run for his place
Walkley
great servant to the club, an honest hard working player, a top fella, I couldn't praise him enough, yes this will probably be his last season with us but he will be sorely missed, If wednesday have any sense they will offer him a coaching role, we need people at the club who love the club this can only rub off on the younger lads which I'm sure it will have (spurr, Wood and Beevers) its good to see the academy players coming through
Holl
so he is a great player then you reckon.............. i agree with you he's been good if not your best for awhile
ozanne park rangers
 

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