Exclusive Interview: Sammy Lee

BARRY ELLAMS snatched a few minutes with Liverpool Legend and Bolton manager Sammy Lee (pictured right in his Liverpool playing days) who opened a new wine shop Corks Out on Watergate Street in Chester.

FORMER Liverpool midfielder and Bolton manager Sammy Lee is a diplomat when it comes to wine tasting – he drinks both red and white.

When asked about his favourite tipple he plumps for a Spanish Rose from the Navarre region. It takes him back to his days playing for Primera outfit Real Osasuna.

‘˜It’s a lighter wine’ says Sammy ‘˜It’s very enjoyable.’

Sammy is not a big wine buff but he knows his Orvieto from his Pinot Grigio.

‘˜I wouldn’t say I had a passion for wine I am not a connoissuer as such I enjoy a nice glass of wine with my meal. I like wines from The Navarre region which is on the border of Rioja.

‘˜I enjoy a nice red the Rioja is a lovely wine but I also like some whites a Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc.

Talk of Rioja’s has guests in the newly launched Chester wine cellar peering through the Spanish shelves.

Sammy thinks the Reds of Anfield Road have been putting on some vintage displays of late and believes Liverpool fans have every right to be licking their lips.

He says: ‘˜Can Liverpool win. I they are definite contenders to win the league – I think they will be there or thereabouts. They have been up there for the last few seasons but Liverpool are getting better – they have got top players. Rafa is strengthening the squad all the time. He has just got in some new players which will bring new strengths. Liverpool are a great Football Club a great set of fans and players.’

Rafa has designed a squad for all palates, imports from the old and new world but Sammy thinks it is the passion and talent of the Spanish mastermind which could help tilt the cup Liverpool’s way.

sammy lee bolton managerSammy said: ‘˜I have got the upmost respect for Rafa Benitez. He is an absolute gentleman he is a terrific manager and has got great passion for football. You can see that on the touchline he never stops thinking about football and the team’.

Sammy, a former Bolton Wanderer in the twilight of his playing career, is putting his heart and soul into ensuring The Trotters compete for silverware this season.

Sammy has taken his champagne off the pitch. From the feisty terrier who fought to the bitter end to the touchline dad who screams at players as if they were his own sons. The man who was ranked 47th out of 100 Kop idols has never lost his golden touch.

‘˜Little Sam’ as the fans call is in no trouble of stumbling in the footsteps of big Sam Allardyce. The new manager has secured former Liverpool attacker Nicholas Anelka on a long term contact and is engineering a squad to challenge for European and domestic trophies.

He added: ‘˜I am firmly committed to Bolton and building on our strengths. Success will not happen overnight it takes time we are building the foundations for long term success.’

A 32 year career rubbing shoulders with Bob Paisley, Gerard Houllier, Bobby Robson and Rafa Benitez has made Sammy Lee one of the toasts of English football and fans will raise a glass of cheer when he returns to Anfield as manager of his own team on December 1.