Rest in peace, Brian Lee MBE
It is with the greatest of regret and deepest sadness that the National League announces the passing of Brian Lee MBE, former Chairman and President of the League.
He passed peacefully in hospital on Sunday 12 February. During his lifetime of achievements in football Brian was so well respected and received wherever he went. Many individuals and clubs will owe a debt of gratitude for his persistence and foresight in laying down foundations on which clubs depend.
The National League recognised Brian’s commitment across many aspects of the game when presenting him with a special recognition award at their Gala Awards Evening in June 2022.
High on the list of achievements was the formation of the National League Trust, aided by the Premier League and PFA, which Brian developed the seed of club community engagement into the flower which successfully blossoms across the membership today.
Brian had a playing, coaching and managerial career during his early life and he became director of Bisham Abbey, after his time at Lilleshall which played a pivotal role as a training base for England’s success in the 1966 World Cup.
Brian went on to manage Wycombe Wanderers and was instrumental in the move to, and building of, their current stadium, Adams Park. Even right up to recent times he could be found supporting the Chairboys, making the short trip from his nearby home. He remains a club legend to many a generation who follow the team.
Involvement with the National League, previously the Football Conference, started back in 1991 as Vice Chairman and then elevated to Chairman in 2007.
Over the ensuing years he led the competition with an assurance and dignity befitting his experience in the game. He stepped down from that position in June 2015 and accepted the honour to become President and in the same year was honoured with an MBE to recognise his service to football.
Brian touched so many lives inside and outside of the game. His influence cannot be underestimated, and his passing is a tremendous blow to the family so soon after the passing of his wife and soulmate Shirley-Ann.
Jack Pearce, Chair of the National League, commented “Brian was a friend and colleague to many and a fountain of wisdom to those of us who worked alongside him across his lifetime. Brian was a true gentleman, communicator and above all else, a compassionate and caring individual.
"May I, on behalf of all connected with the National League, extend our sincere condolences to his sons, Bryn and Tim and all other members of the Lee family at this difficult time.”
As a mark of respect, the League will observe a one-minute silence with players wearing black armbands across all fixtures on Saturday 18 February 2023.