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Newcastle United stalwart Rob Lee delighted as son Olly Lee denies Sunderland with Gillingham's equaliser in FA Cup first round

Olly Lee’s equaliser for Gillingham at Sunderland capped a good week for the family.

Just days earlier his father, Rob Lee, had been inducted into the Newcastle United hall of fame.

Olly Lee on the ball at the Stadium of Light on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry
Olly Lee on the ball at the Stadium of Light on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry

Lee senior played more than 300 games for Newcastle between 1992 and 2002.

He was keen for his son to then make a good week even better against Newcastle’s bitter north east rivals Sunderland.

Olly said: “Dad text me before the game and said ‘make sure you beat the Mackems!’.

“It is always nice to get a goal. Unfortunately we didn’t beat them but we have another chance.

“It was the first time I’ve played Sunderland so that’s one in one for me and we will try and build on that.

“My dad wasn’t there, unfortunately, and he will be gutted to have missed it.

“It wasn’t a bad week for the Geordies! It was a huge honour for my old man and I think it was thoroughly deserved.

“I know he was very proud to have been playing for Newcastle for so long, it’s a massive thing for the family. We are all proud of him.”

Father Rob tweeted after the game, saying: “Great week! Well done son, well done the Gills.”

Olly Lee's father, Rob, played more than 300 games for Newcastle
Olly Lee's father, Rob, played more than 300 games for Newcastle

Gillingham had a number of chances to go on and win the game following Lee’s equaliser.

He came close himself, just missing a Brandon Hanlan cross when sliding in at the far post.

“I have tried to get something on it but it ended up going through my legs and I’ve run into the post,” said the midfielder.

“It didn’t want to go in for me that time but I suppose I got my luck before that.”

There was another moment in the game when he tried his luck at goal when Tom O’Connor was calling for the ball, better positioned.

“I didn’t see him and I didn’t hear him,” Lee said.

“I wanted to pass to someone. I will look back I am sure and wonder why, but it is one of those things.

"I have made a decision and I told him, ‘be a bit louder’ and I might have heard him.”

Lee had mixed emotions after the 1-1 draw.

He said: “We played really well and enjoyed it and felt like we should have won. To have gone to the Stadium of Light and feel like we should have won, it says a lot.

“We got a goal early doors (in the second half) and that helps to lift spirits.

“I think we were more than a match for Sunderland and we have got a team that can match anyone in this league. We just have to believe it a bit more.

“I am adamant we have got a really strong group, it’s small but it’s tight knit.

“The 20-odd players we’ve got are good League 1 players and we should be looking top half minimum.”

Lee was making his first start in five, having been selected to play behind the front two.

“I had a chance and like to think I took it,” he said.

“You have to build on it. You can’t just have one good game, you need to be consistent and that is my aim.

“It’s the manager’s decision, I respect that. I just want to enjoy my football and I am doing that.

"I want to be out on the pitch as much as possible.”

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