|Full name Lee Martin Boylan|
1995–1996 West Ham United
Height 1.68 m
|Playing position |
Place of birth Witham, England
Name Lee Boylan
|Date of birth (1978-09-02) 2 September 1978 (age 37)|
Current team Heybridge Swifts F.C.
Lee Martin Boylan (born 2 September 1978) is a former footballer and currently is a player coach with Heybridge Swifts. He has made over 450 first-team appearances, almost all in the Football Conference.
- Early career
- Canvey Island
- Grays and Chelmsford
- Cambridge United
- Return to non League
- International career
- Personal life
- Career statistics
Boylan began his career with West Ham United in 1995, and progressed through the club's recognised youth academy. He played one game for West Ham in the Premier League, as a substitute during the latter stages of the 1996–97 season. He was sent out on loan Kingstonian in 1998, and was released on return to his parent club in 1999. He had brief spells with Trelleborg in Sweden and with Exeter City, before rejoining Kingstonian on a permanent basis in 2000. He left the club in November 2000, and he had brief spells with both Hayes and Stevenage during the final months of the 2000–01 season.
Ahead of the 2001–02 season, Boylan joined Canvey Island, where he was hugely successful; playing 210 games and scoring 176 goals for the club during his five-year tenure with the Essex side. When Canvey resigned from the Conference in 2006, he joined Grays Athletic on a one-year contract, but was later loaned to Chelmsford City after struggling for first-team appearances at Grays. Boylan joined Cambridge United on a free transfer shortly before the 2007–08 season, as Cambridge narrowly missed out on promotion to the Football League in May 2008. He joined Stevenage for an undisclosed fee in June 2008, scoring the second in a 2–0 win against York City in the FA Trophy final at Wembley Stadium in May 2009. Boylan was also part of the side that won promotion to the Football League the following season. Boylan was released by Stevenage in January 2011, and he subsequently re-joined Chelmsford City in March of the same year. After just five appearances for Chelmsford, Boylan joined Thurrock for the rest of the 2010–11 season. He spent a further season at Thurrock, before leaving the club following their relegation. In July 2012, Boylan joined AFC Sudbury. Midway through the 2012–13 season, Boylan joined divisional rivals Maldon & Tiptree.
Born in Witham, Essex, Boylan began his career with West Ham United in 1996, playing regularly in the club's youth side, as well as featuring in the club's FA Youth Cup Final loss at the end of the 1995–96 season, starting alongside both Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard. Boylan made one Premier League appearance as an 89th-minute substitute in a 5–1 win over Sheffield Wednesday in May 1997. After a loan spell with Kingstonian during the 1998–99 season, he had a brief spell with Trelleborg in Sweden, playing two games for the club and scoring one goal. He returned to England in November 1999, and joined Exeter City shortly after. Boylan made his debut for Exeter in the club's 1–0 defeat to Halifax Town, coming on as a substitute in the 69th minute. He also provided the assist for one of Exeter's goals in the side's 2–0 FA Cup win against Aldershot Town, and scored his first goal for the club in his third game, netting Exeter's first in a 3–2 win against Torquay United. It was to be Boylan's only goal for Exeter, as he featured in a total of eight games before leaving the club in January 2000. He signed for Kingstonian, who he had previously played for, on a free transfer a month after leaving Exeter, signing a contract until the end of the season. He made his debut in Kingstonian's 1–0 win against Stevenage Borough, as well as assisting two goals in a 2–0 win against Nuneaton Borough. Boylan made a total of 15 appearances for Kingstonian in all competitions, but failed to get on the scoresheet. He was subsequently released at the end of the season. Ahead of the 2000–01 season, Boylan was without a club, but eventually joined Hayes in November 2000, making his debut in Hayes' 1–0 home defeat to Telford United. He scored his first goal for Hayes in the club's 3–1 away defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Cup, netting with a low shot from just inside the area. His second goal for the club came in a 4–1 defeat against Dover Athletic, scoring a consolation goal in the 84th minute. Boylan also scored in Hayes' 3–3 draw with Stevenage, scoring in the 80th minute as Hayes came from three goals down to restore parity. Five days later, he netted again, this time in a 1–1 draw against Hednesford Town. Despite featuring regularly, Boylan left Hayes in February 2001, and signed for another Conference National club in the form of Stevenage two months later. He played one game for the club before being released, starting in Stevenage's 1–1 draw with Morecambe, playing 69 minutes before being substituted.
Ahead of the 2001–02 season, Boylan joined Canvey Island on part-time terms, making his debut in Canvey's first game of the season, coming on as a 66th-minute substitute in a 5–1 away victory against Chesham United. Three days later, he started his first game in a 3–1 home defeat to Aldershot Town, scoring just before the interval. He scored the first brace of his career in the following match, netting twice against Hitchin Town in a 5–3 win. Boylan failed to get on the scoresheet again until the end of September 2001, coming off the bench to seal three points for Canvey against Bedford Town, as well as scoring in another comprehensive win against Basingstoke Town. Throughout November, Boylan featured in games as a substitute, scoring in Canvey's 4–1 victory against Sutton United as Canvey scored four goals in fifteen minutes to secure the win. During the Christmas period, Boylan scored five goals in three games, netting braces against Aldershot Town and Purfleet respectively, as well as scoring from the penalty spot against Billericay Town. Boylan netted Canvey's solitary goal in their 4–1 loss against Burnley in the FA Cup third round. He also netted against his former club, Kingstonian, in a 2–1 defeat. Through February 2002, Boylan scored in five consecutive games; netting once against Enfield, Croydon Athletic, and St Albans City respectively, scoring a brace against Boreham Wood, and netting four goals in a 6–1 win against Heybridge Swifts. He continued his goalscoring form until the end of the club's 2001–02 campaign, scoring three goals in the last four games, as well as scoring in Canvey's final game of the season – a 2–1 loss at Billericay Town. During his first season with Canvey, Boylan netted a total of 44 times in all competitions.
Boylan opted to stay at Canvey during the close season, and subsequently played in Canvey's first game of the 2002–03 season, a 2–1 loss to Hayes. However, he did not get on the scoresheet for Canvey until September 2002, netting Canvey's sixth in the 88th minute in a 6–1 victory against Aylesbury United, as well as scoring the final goal of the game in Canvey's 4–1 win against Heybridge Swifts a week later. He scored his fourth goal in as many games against Hampton & Richmond Borough, scoring twice in a 2–0 away win. Three days later, he scored from the penalty spot against Grays Athletic in another 2–0 victory, and scored a week later in a 3–1 away win at Ford United. Boylan scored twice in two games against Purfleet, although Canvey only managed to pick up one point from the two encounters. He scored ten goals in seven games throughout December and early January, scoring respective braces against Chesham United, Aylesbury United, and Basingstoke Town. He scored his first hat-trick of the season in March 2003, scoring all three of Canvey's goals in a 3–1 win against Ford United, as well as scoring important goals in games against Boreham Wood and Braintree Town. A month later, Boylan scored four times against St Albans City, scoring the first goal after just 26 seconds as Canvey ran out 6–1 winners. He ended the season by scoring six goals in two games, scoring four goals against Enfield in an emphatic 10–1 win, as well as scoring a brace on the final day of the season in a 4–0 win against Kingstonian. Boylan subsequently scored 45 goals in 52 appearances during the season as Canvey finished Isthmian Premier runners-up for a second consecutive season.
Boylan opened his account for the 2003–04 season by scoring Canvey's third goal in a 3–1 win against Basingstoke Town after coming on as an 81st-minute substitute. A week later, he scored twice as Canvey beat Thurrock 4–3, and scored the only goal of the game in a 1–0 away win against Harrow Borough, scoring with a header from close range. Boylan netted three goals within the space of a week in September 2003, scoring goals in games against Braintree Town, Northwood, and Hitchin Town. A volley from just inside the area against Heybridge Swifts to double Canvey's lead was Boylan's tenth of the season, and a brace against Kingstonian added to his goal tally. He also scored in Canvey's FA Cup tie at home to Football League neighbours Southend United, scoring in the tenth minute in a 3–2 loss. A month later, Boylan set a club and league record, when he scored in 11 consecutive games, spanning from December 2003 to February 2004. Canvey also won all eleven fixtures. During the 11 games, Boylan netted a total of 21 times, which included consecutive hat-tricks against Bishop's Stortford and Billericay Town, and braces against Ford Utd, Maidenhead United, Northwood, and Hayes. Boylan failed to score in the club's next game away to Grays Athletic, a 1–1 draw, subsequently meaning both Boylan's and Canvey's respective sequences ended. He scored a brace in a 4–1 away win at Heybridge Swifts, and scored in four consecutive games in April 2004 – one of which came in a 2–1 away victory at Thurrock, the game that ultimately secured the club's promotion to the Conference National. He netted a hat-trick, his third of the season, in Canvey's 3–2 win against Hornchurch on the final game of the 2003–04 season, as Canvey finally won promotion to the highest tier in non-league football. He also scored in the FA Trophy final as Canvey lost 3–2 to Hednesford Town at Villa Park, scoring from a header just after the interval. Boylan scored 57 goals in 53 appearances in all competitions. On Boylan plying his trade in the Conference National, Canvey manager Jeff King said "I have no doubts about his ability to score goals in the Conference. It's a team effort which is why Lee was happy to sign a new contract here last year".
The following season, Boylan started in Canvey's first game back in the Conference National, playing the whole match as the club held Carlisle United to a 0–0 draw at Brunton Park, with Boylan "carving out a number of opportunities". Three days later, he scored his first goal of the season in a 1–1 draw against Gravesend & Northfleet, and followed this up with a brace in a 3–3 draw against Tamworth. He scored a "clinical" hat-trick in Canvey's 3–1 away win against Farnborough Town at Cherrywood Road in September 2004. A month later, Boylan netted Canvey's second in a 4–1 away win against Stevenage at Broadhall Way, although he was stretchered off after 27 minutes having suffered a fractured ankle. He was subsequently ruled out for three months after seeing a specialist to gauge the full extent of the injury. Boylan returned to first-team action in late December 2004, coming on as a 77th-minute substitute in a 2–2 draw with Woking. He scored goals against Crawley Town and Northwich Victoria respectively, and also netted in three consecutive games against Burton Albion, Aldershot Town, and Gravesend. He also scored two goals in two games in April 2005, firstly netting in Canvey's 1–0 win against Scarborough, as well as scoring Canvey's first in a 4–0 win against York City with a low shot. Despite missing three months of the football season, Boylan scored 16 goals in 31 games as Canvey narrowly avoided relegation.
Boylan signed a one-year contract extension ahead of the 2005–06 season, and played in the club's opening game of the season, a 1–0 defeat to Accrington Stanley. He opened his goalscoring account in the next game, scoring twice in the last four minutes of the match to give Canvey a 2–1 win against Aldershot Town. Two weeks later, Boylan scored another double, this time in a 2–1 away win at Burton Albion, his second goal was a volley from 25 yards out. Boylan's two goals also condemned Burton to their first ever defeat at the Pirelli Stadium, as well as becoming the first player to score two goals at the stadium. He scored goals in games against Kidderminster Harriers and Morecambe, as well as scoring in Canvey's 2–1 away win against Forest Green Rovers in November 2005. A month later, Boylan scored in Canvey's FA Trophy victory against Kingstonian, but was taken to hospital shortly after scoring having collided with the goal post and suffered facial injuries. The injury subsequently ruled him out for up to three months, and he returned to first-team action in March 2006, coming on as a 60th-minute substitute and marking his comeback with a goal, scoring an injury-time winner in a 1–0 win against Altrincham at Moss Lane. He netted a late equaliser in the club's following game against York City, scoring from a header in his first start in three months. Boylan scored another late equaliser against Exeter City in April 2004, scoring in injury-time to earn Canvey a point. He also scored in the final game of the season in Canvey's 2–0 away win against Halifax Town, latching onto a through pass and scoring from just outside the box, having already assisted Jason Hallett's early goal. The goal proved to be Boylan's last goal for the club, after Canvey announced that they would be resigning from the Conference National in May 2006, after manager Jeff King said he would withdraw his investment. Boylan ended the season having made a total of 29 appearances, scoring 14 times. During his five-year tenure with the Essex club, Boylan made a total of 210 appearances, and scored 176 goals in the process.
Grays and Chelmsford
On his release from Canvey shortly after the club's resignation from the Conference, he joined Grays Athletic on a one-year contract, and made his debut in the club's first game of 2006–07 season, starting in a 1–1 draw against Stafford Rangers. He also started in the club's next two games, but failed to get on the scoresheet. In Grays' next three fixtures, Boylan was used from the substitutes bench, and was also the player sacrificed when Jay Smith was sent-off in the fourth minute in the club's 1–1 draw against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium in September 2006. He provided the assist for Michael Kightly's goal in Grays' 6–0 away win against St Albans City. Boylan scored his first goal for Grays in a 1–1 draw with Cambridge United in early November, scoring with a "neat finish" from 12 yards. A month later, he netted a brace in Grays' 3–2 away defeat to Weymouth, both of which were headed goals. However, Boylan made only 16 starting appearances for the club, scoring three goals, and a day after featuring as an 88th-minute substitute in Grays' win against Welling United, Boylan joined Conference South side Chelmsford City in February 2007 on loan for the rest of the season. Boylan made his Chelmsford debut a day after joining the club, scoring in the club's 5–1 win against Carshalton Athletic, playing 76 minutes of the match. He started in the club's following game, scoring twice in ten first-half minutes as Chelmsford beat Horsham 5–0, he also provided the assist for Kezie Ibe's goal. Three days later, his 88th-minute strike was enough to earn the club a point away at East Thurrock United as he continued his goalscoring form for the club. His fifth goal in as many games came from the penalty spot as Chelmsford beat Staines Town 7–3. Boylan netted once more in a 1–1 draw against Ramsgate, scoring the equaliser from a free-kick in the 89th minute, but was sent-off a minute later. He also scored the last goal of the game as Chelmsford beat Hampton & Richmond comprehensively, as well as scoring an 81st-minute goal in a 1–1 draw away to Heybridge Swifts. He missed the club's 3–1 defeat to Margate through injury, but returned to assist two goals in the club's 4–0 win against Slough Town. He played a total of 12 games for Chelmsford, scoring eight times. On return to his parent club in May 2007, Boylan was released.
At the end of the 2006–07 season, he joined Cambridge United on a free transfer, and made his debut in the club's 2–1 away win at York City, scoring from the penalty spot as Cambridge came from a goal behind to win the game. Boylan scored again in the club's following game, netting an injury-time winner against Oxford United, scoring an "unstoppable shot" into the corner after a free-kick ricocheted into his path. He provided the assist for Cambridge's second goal in a 5–1 win against Farsley Celtic at the Abbey Stadium. He also scored Cambridge's only goal of the game in a 3–1 loss against Forest Green Rovers in September 2007, as well as scoring in the club's 2–1 away win against Torquay United. His fifth goal of the season came in the following match, scoring with a header from six yards out. However, Boylan struggled to find the net, failing to get on the scoresheet for four months, as well as being used as a substitute throughout February 2008. He started against York City a month later, and scored twice in a 2–0 win – his first goal a volley from the edge of the area. Three days later, Boylan scored another double to ensure Cambridge left the Kassam Stadium with three points; scoring the first goal with a header, and netting his second from close range in the second half to restore Cambridge's lead. He scored his fifth goal in three games in a 2–1 defeat to Farsley Celtic, as well as scoring in the two following games against Woking and Crawley Town respectively – the latter proving to be his last goal of the season. He provided an assist in the club's 2–1 away win against Rushden & Diamonds at Nene Park as Cambridge reached the play-offs as a result of finishing in second place. Boylan started in the club's 1–0 defeat to Exeter City in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium, but was substituted after 69 minutes. Boylan featured in a total of 38 matches throughout the campaign, scoring 12 times. After the defeat, Boylan was placed on the transfer list by Cambridge United in May 2008, and despite placing him on the transfer list, the club made "late efforts to persuade him to stay". On being placed on the transfer list, Boylan said "as soon as Jimmy Quinn said to me that I was not in his plans for next year my heart just was not at the club any more".
Boylan joined Stevenage in June 2008 for an undisclosed fee, and on joining the club said "I've got a manager at Stevenage in Graham Westley who was phoning me five or six times a day and really wanted me at the club". He made his debut for the Hertfordshire side as a substitute in a 5–0 defeat against Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground, and scored his first goal for Stevenage in the 4–1 victory over Burton Albion, netting with a close range volley. He scored his second goal for the club in Stevenage's 3–0 win against Forest Green Rovers, latching onto Michael Bostwick's pass and scoring in the second minute. Boylan also assisted Peter Vincenti's injury-time goal against Lewes in December 2008. Boylan also netted in a 3–1 win against Rushden & Diamonds, as well as scoring his fourth league goal for the club in another victory against Lewes a month later. Boylan was also on hand to poke the ball home in Stevenage's 1–0 victory against Woking. He scored in three consecutive games towards the latter stages of the 2008–09 season, scoring a header at the back post against York City in a 2–0 win. He also scored twice in the space of three days in games against Kidderminster Harriers, and his former employers, Cambridge United – scoring the winner from 12 yards out. A brace against Kidderminster Harriers in April 2009 ensured Boylan ended the season with ten league goals. He made a total of 39 appearances during the 2008–09 season, scoring 14 times in all competitions. He also started in five of the club's successful FA Trophy campaign during the same season, scoring four times. He netted in games against St Albans City and Farnborough in the early rounds, as well as scoring in the club's 3–2 win against Ebbsfleet United in the semi-final. Boylan also scored in the side's 2–0 win against York City in the Final at Wembley Stadium, latching onto a through ball before hitting a "looping shot" over the goalkeeper to seal the victory in injury-time.
Boylan remained at Stevenage ahead of the 2009–10 season, starting in the club's first game of the season at home to Tamworth, scoring a penalty in a 1–1 draw. The goal was also the first goal of the 2009–10 Conference National season. He scored from the penalty spot again three weeks later, scoring in Stevenage's 2–1 win against Rushden & Diamonds. Boylan was also on hand to assist both of Stevenage's goals in the club's 2–0 away win at Histon. He netted his third of the campaign when he turned in Joel Byrom's quick free-kick against Grays Athletic, as well as scoring the only goal of the game against Forest Green Rovers in November 2009. He scored twice against Cambridge United in the club's 4–1 win, both goals being scored from just inside the area. Two weeks later, he scored Stevenage's second goal in a 6–0 win against Vauxhall Motors. Boylan scored once more in a 2–0 win against Crawley Town, scoring in injury-time to double Stevenage's lead, having come on as a substitute in the 86th minute. Persistent injuries throughout the season meant that Boylan's appearances were limited, but he managed to make a total of 26 appearances; scoring 8 times. Boylan left Stevenage when his contract expired in January 2011.
Return to non-League
After an unsuccessful trial at Southend United, Boylan signed for Conference South side Chelmsford City on a free transfer in March 2011. He made his debut for Chelmsford on 5 March, coming on for Wayne Gray as a 79th-minute substitute in Chelmsford's 2–1 away loss at Eastleigh. Boylan made a further four appearances for Chelmsford, all of which were from the substitute's bench, before being released by the club on 30 March 2011. A day later, Boylan joined Conference South rivals Thurrock until the end of the 2010–11 season. He scored a hat-trick on his debut in a 3–0 win against Weston-super-Mare, a win that moved Thurrock four points away from the relegation zone. Boylan scored five goals in six matches for Thurrock, although the club were relegated as a result of finishing in 20th, the final relegation spot. However, they were later reprieved following the demise of Rushden & Diamonds, meaning Thurrock remained in the Conference South for the 2011–12 season.
Boylan opted to stay at Thurrock for the 2011–12 campaign, scoring on the first day of the season in a 1–1 draw away at Salisbury City. His second goal of the season came in a 4–1 defeat to Eastbourne Borough on 20 September 2011. Boylan also scored in Thurrock's FA Cup Second Round qualifying game, converting Steve Ferguson's cross to ensure the club came from two goals down to draw away against VCD Athletic. The replay was played two days later, on 3 October, with Boylan scoring the winning goal from six yards out in a 1–0 victory. His third goal in as many games followed in a 2–0 away victory at Farnborough. Boylan missed five of the club's fixtures during October 2011 due to injury, but returned to first-team action in a 3–2 defeat to Tonbridge Angels on 5 November, coming on as a second-half substitute. In Thurrock's next game, Boylan scored twice as the club secured a 2–0 away victory at Hampton & Richmond Borough. He went on to score twelve times in 34 appearances for the club during the campaign, finishing as the club's top goalscorer. However, Thurrock were relegated from the Conference South after finishing in last place, and Boylan left the club in May 2012.
In July 2012, Boylan joined Isthmian League Division One North side AFC Sudbury, taking on dual responsibilities as a player-coach. He made his debut for the club on the opening day of the 2012–13 season, a 3–1 home defeat at the hands of Cheshunt on 18 August 2012. Three days later, he scored his first goal for AFC Sudbury in a 3–1 away loss to Maldon & Tiptree — briefly restoring parity in the match when he netted from Michael Shinn's corner.
In January 2013, Boylan joined divisional rivals Maldon & Tiptree, making his debut as a 61st-minute substitute in a 0–0 home draw with Waltham Abbey on 12 January. Two weeks later, in his second appearance for the club, he scored in a 2–2 draw against Redbridge. He added two further goals a month later in Maldon's 5–1 home victory over Brentwood Town. Boylan continued to play regularly for Maldon & Tiptree for the remainder of the 2012–13 season, and scored three times in their play-off campaign as they lost 4–1 on penalties to Thamesmead Town in the final. He made 21 appearances in all competitions for the club that season, scoring six goals.
Boylan played for the Republic of Ireland national under-19 football team in the 1997 UEFA European Under-18 Football Championship finals in Iceland scoring against Israel. He represented the Republic of Ireland under-21 team when he was plying his trade at West Ham United, making his debut in a 3–0 defeat to Czech Republic, a game in which he suffered an injury after just 20 minutes and was stretchered off. In 2004, he played for the England C team, earning a solitary cap.
Boylan was married in Watford, Hertfordshire, in May 2001.