“He’s got a pineapple on his head,” chanted Frank Skinner and David Baddiel during their 90s show Fantasy Football League.
They were, of course, singing about Jason Lee. The striker rose to prominence after Nottingham Forest sold Stan Collymore to Liverpool for a then British transfer record of £8.5 million
In a bid to fill the Collymore void Forest snapped up Arsenal’s Kevin Campbell and Italian international Andrea Silenzi for the 1995/96 season. Campbell was battling injuries and Silenzi proved to be a misfire – Lee, already at the club after signing from Southend in 1994, was forced to step into Collymore’s shoes.
He soon made Skinner and Baddiel eat their words, banging in six goals in seven games in early season clashes. Sadly, Lee’s form tailed off and he eventually lost his place in the Forest side.
Lee also ditched the “pineapple”, partly blaming the cruel taunts kick-started by Fantasy Football.
“I’d be a liar if I said it didn’t affect me. It coincided with a lack of form, which any player can have, and it grew to the extent where it was affecting people around me,” he told the BBC in 2007.
“When it started I wasn’t too bothered but then I got dropped by Forest boss Frank Clark and, yes, it was partly down to a loss of form but also maybe it became a little bit embarrassing for the club for people to have to deal with the situation.”
He added: “I’ve never met either Frank Skinner or David Baddiel but the good thing about football is you always get the chance to have the last word.
“I went to Chelsea the season after it all happened with Forest, got some stick but scored our equaliser and I knew Baddiel was in the stands so that was a great day, I milked it for all it was worth!”
Lee left Forest in their 1997 Premier League relegation season and went on to play for 16 more different club – among them Notts County, Charlton, Watford and Falkirk.
He retired from playing in 2012 with 125 goals career goals and went on to manage his final club Boston United for a short spell.
Lee left the club in 2012 with the Pilgrims sitting in mid-table.
What is he doing today? Lee is the Equalities Education Executive for The PFA.
As a side note, fans were reminded of this 90s cult hero in December when Raheem Sterling turned out for Manchester City sporting a recognisable hairdo.
— Kyran Rickman (@RickmanKyran) December 29, 2015