Wort leaves Royals for beloved Sholing

By Connor Steel

SHOLING FOOTBALL CLUB have announced that they have brought Lee Wort back to the Mackoy Stadium for the new 2022-23 campaign; with the 31-year-old striker returning to the Boatmen following a brilliant two seasons at Portchester as he looks to build on his all-time club goal-scoring record for Dave Diaper’s side.

The attacker has signed for his third spell with the Southampton-based club, having inspired the Boatmen to an FA Vase and Wessex League Premier double during the 2013/14 season. He then played for Gosport Borough and quickly became a fan favourite before joining Poole Town in the summer of 2016, ending a successful spell at Privett Park despite some niggling injuries.

After trialling with Accrington Stanley and travelling abroad for six months, Wort decided to return to his beloved Sholing as he continued to build a partnership with Dan Mason; the pair scoring 114 goals between them as they easily won the Wessex Premier Division in 2018/19 and solidifying their position in the Southern League Division One table before the Covid-19 pandemic started in mid-March 2020.

Moving to Portchester in July 2020 after scoring 256 goals for Sholing, the hotshot joined his former coach Mike Catlin at the On-Site Group Stadium and made an immediate impact the Royals made a good start to the 2020-21 campaign. However this season was halted at the start of November 2020 due to the second lockdown and ultimately became the second straight campaign to be made null and void.

The 2021-22 campaign was just as productive for Wort as he scored forty goals in 48 displays across the year; including hat-tricks versus Cowes Sports, Bournemouth Poppies and Amesbury Town. These goals helped Portchester to finish seventh in the Wessex League alongside two losing semi-finals versus Fareham and Farnborough following an indifferent start under new boss Dave Carter.

His performances saw him win four of the six available awards at Portchester earlier this year; sealing the top scorer award on April 21 alongside the Club’s Player of the Season, the Players’ Player of the Season and the Supporters’ Player of the Season following votes from supporters / teammates.

His return to Sholing has seen a welcoming reaction from delighted fans and long-term manager Dave Diaper who said on the duo of Wort and Dan Mason:  “Getting D-Dan signed was a top priority as he’s so important to us. Worty & Dan have an impressive record together and along with our excellent other attacking players, we are focused on improving our number of goals as we push for promotion”

Portchester manager Dave Carter has also offered his own thoughts on losing Wort, which coincides with the departure of Rafa Ramos to Bashley. He gave an interview with Portsmouth Sport on Wednesday, which can be read via this link; saying that the club will be announcing new signings from next Monday (June 13).

PICTURED BY SHOLING FC: Wort shakes hands with Dave Diaper in Mackoy Stadium changing rooms.