Town's trip to Magpies is a 'dream come true' for proud dad Rob Lee

The chances of seeing both his sons Olly and Elliot Lee run out for Luton at St James' Park in the FA Cup will be a '˜dream come true' for former Newcastle United midfielder Rob Lee.

Friday, 5th January 2018, 9:28 am
Updated Friday, 5th January 2018, 9:32 am
Rob Lee with sons Olly and Elliot

The 51-year-old spent a decade with the Magpies between 1992-2002, racking up over 300 appearances in that time, and is still considered a huge favourite amongst Geordies.

He will be back on familiar territory this weekend with a whole busload of the Lee family as well, saying: “I’m looking forward to it, I haven't got to play, so I can travel up with the family on the Saturday and have a few glasses of wine on the way up.

"For our family it’s the best tie we could have even thought of. To get the boys back at St James’ Park where I played for 10 years is a dream come true and I’m sure the Geordies will give them a Geordie reception.

“It’s going to be immense, my mum and dad are 73, dad’s arranged a coach for all the family, cousins are going and brothers are going, they’re all going up to see the lads play at St James' Park.

“They both grew up in Newcastle, that’s where they had their first kits. Myself and Al (Alan Shearer) used to have a box up there, so they'd always watch the games."

Although United are 13th in the Premier League this season after winning promotion from the Championship last term, and have won two out of their last four games, Lee knows full well cup games between the two sides don't always go to form.

As back in 1994, he was part of the Magpies team who were knocked out of the competition by the Hatters in the fourth round.

The first game at St James' Park saw Luton, managed by David Pleat, take the lead through Tony Thorpe's cracker, before Peter Beardsley equalised with a second half penalty.

However, back in Bedfordshire, Town triumphed 2-0 against Kevin Keegan's side, John Hartson and Scott Oakes scoring the goals in front of a gate of over 12,000.

Lee continued: "Everyone keeps reminding me of it, I’m still trying to forget it!

"We were flying at the time, and they got a good draw at St James' Park and got back to Kenilworth Road, which hasn’t changed in all the years.

"John Hartson was a young kid coming through, he gave us a tearing around when he was a 17-year-old. He played very, very well, got his move shortly afterwards to Arsenal and they deservedly beat us.

"We didn’t play very well, I don’t know whether we underestimated them or not, but it happens.

"I love the FA Cup, people keep saying that it’s dying, but I love it. Whatever chance lower league teams get to play against top teams, anything can happen.

"The Premier League gets a bit monotonous after a while, but I think this is a fantastic competition.”

Although Lee knows Newcastle will be favourites, he still considers Town to have an opportunity of causing another famous upset, even if Rafa Benitez goes with a full strength side.

He said: "I think they’ve got a chance whatever team they play haven’t they?

"No disrespect but its 11 v 11 and there’s always upsets. It works both ways too.

"If you play players who haven’t played for a while, sometimes they try a lot harder than some of the players who are senior players who might not want to play against Luton Town.

"Luton have done very well, they’re playing some great football, it will be a good game.”

Meanwhile, on the Magpies, Lee added: "They’ve got a very good manager, it’s no secret they need investment, I think Rafa made it quite clear.

"They need massive investment and I think maybe he was promised that and didn’t get it. The quicker the takeover, whoever takes over the club, does that, as it’s a fantastic football club.

"They’ve got great fans, but if you want to compete in the Premier League you need investment."