Welcome to the Club, Lee.BCFC
Bowyer, who has signed terms with the Club until June 2023, was at the Trillion Trophy Training Centre this morning to take training after the Club reached an agreement with the former Charlton Athletic Manager.
The Board of Directors identified Bowyer as their number one candidate, highlighting his man management skills and motivational qualities as paramount for the incumbent of the Club’s Head Coach position.
Having agreed terms and put pen to paper, Blues’ new Head Coach spoke of his excitement at returning to the Second City: “I’m absolutely delighted and it’s great to be back.
“I’ve already seen some of the old faces from when I was here last and I’m just really looking forward to getting to work.
“My priority is to lift everybody. Not just the players, the staff as well. It seems like it’s not been in a very good place, so I’ve got to lift them.
“I’ve got to try and implement what I want very quickly. The team will improve, I have no doubt about that but we already have a good base to work with.
“I’m gutted the fans aren’t here because I know the part they would play. When I was here as a player it was an unreal atmosphere. I know how important they are but unfortunately we can’t change that.
“We have to pull together as a Club to make sure we are in this division next season so the fans can come back and appreciate what we do in this short space of time.”
Dong Ren, Blues CEO, commented: "I would like to welcome Lee to Birmingham City Football Club.
"He is a coach who has been on our radar for some time now and as a former player he knows exactly what it means to be a part of this Football Club.
“We believe he is the man to take us forward, initially in achieving our short-term goal of staying in the Championship and then further into the future as well.
"We are delighted that Lee has joined us at this important stage of the season and we are all committed to ensuring that he and the team are a success.”
A familiar and popular figure at St. Andrew’s, Bowyer wore royal blue for two-and-a-half years as a player. Initially arriving on loan in January 2009 from West Ham United, he made an instant impact by hitting a late equaliser on his debut and would appear a further 16 times that term as he helped Blues to automatic promotion from the Championship.
Bowyer was then a cornerstone of the team which finished ninth in the top flight, the Club’s highest league finish for half a century. And, as well as tenaciously shielding a backline that conceded fewer goals at home than any team outside the top four, the midfielder proved more than useful in front of goal too. Missing just three league matches in the process, Bowyer’s counters were the difference in matches against Fulham, Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham that all ended one-nil to Blues.
An eye for a goal from midfield, his handiness in the box continued into his second full and what proved to be final campaign in B9. His most memorable effort helped send Blues to the Carling Cup final at the expense of West ham, a team with whom he had two spells either side of three years at Newcastle United in the noughties.
He would follow this up at Wembley with a winning performance, brimming with energy and fight that eternally stitches him into a tapestry that is the Club’s history.
This proved the penultimate step in a meritorious playing career, amassing over 500 senior appearances in both domestic and European competition before retiring after a season-long stint with Ipswich Town.
As a coach, Bowyer has worked within Watford’s youth setup and as a trusty assistant to Karl Robinson at The Valley, prior to taking over as caretaker manager at Charlton in March 2018 – the team he had first signed professionally with back in 1994.
Managing the Addicks, the 44-year-old has twice guided them to the League One play-offs, showing resilience to regroup and come again following a setback first time around.
Edged out by Shrewsbury Town in 2018, Bowyer rallied his troops, and they returned the following year to beat Doncaster Rovers over two legs and then overcome a much-fancied Sunderland outfit at Wembley as they returned to the Sky Bet Championship for the first time since 2016.
At the time of leaving, he had guided Charlton to within touching distance of the Sky Bet League One play-off spots with 11 games remaining.
His first game as Blues Head Coach will be against Reading at St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium on Wednesday night.
Details of the Lee’s backroom staff will be revealed in due course.
Welcome back, Lee!