Date: 25th April 2008 at 11:32am
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Plymouth Argyle manager Paul Sturrock has released utility player Lee Hodges after seven years at Home Park.

The popular 34-year old has not been offered a new contract by Sturrock and will leave the club he has served so well.

Hodges has notched up 221 appearances for Argyle over two-spells, scoring 14 goals and became an Argyle Legend after winning Championship titles in 2002 and 2004.

Sturrock spoke about Hodges after making his shock decision, he said: ‘I will not be renewing Lee Hodges’ contract when it expires in the summer.

‘That decision is not a reflection of my appreciation of him – no-one is more grateful than I am for the shifts he has put in on behalf of the club over seven seasons.

‘I signed him at the start of the 2001/02 Third Division championship season and he has been a valuable and loyal member of our squad ever since.

‘When he went in goal at Scunthorpe recently, he said that he had played in every position for the club and that alone shows what an asset he’s been.’

Hodges last appearance for the Devon club was the 1-0 defeat away to Scunthorpe United in March where in finished the game in goal, taking over from regular keeper Luke McCormick who had just received a red card.

Has there ever been a better free signing for Plymouth Argyle than Lee Hodges?

The long serving Pilgrim is proof that big transfer fees are sometimes no guarantee of quality or success.

The former Tottenham Hotspur striker has been a model of consistency during his stint with the Pilgrims. Reliable, steady, brave, dependable and a winner are just some of the words that spring to mind when describing his Argyle career.

Hodges has never won many man-of-the-match awards for Argyle but equally he has never let the team down, a consistent seven-out-of-ten type of player, the unsung hero who just gets on with his job with no fuss or bother.
Name the last time that Hodges had a bad game for Argyle? You can’t!

While you’re at it name another Argyle player who has, in recent years, played at left-back, centre midfield, left midfield, striker, right-back and even goalkeeper! There is only one player that fits the bill, Mr Versatile himself, Lee Hodges!

Hodges first joined Argyle as a striker in February 1993 on-loan from Spurs, scoring two goals from six starts and one substitute appearance.
Following another loan spell, this time at Wycombe Wanderers, Spurs allowed the young striker to leave White Hart Lane and sign for Barnet on a free transfer. Over a 3-year period at Underhill, Hodges notched up 30 goals from 121 appearances, before signing for Reading in a £250,000 transfer in 1997.

In August 2001 Hodges was re-united with Argyle once again when former manager Paul Sturrock snapped up the Epping-born midfielder on a free transfer from Reading.
‘Hodgy’ would play a crucial role for the Pilgrims on the left side of midfield as Argyle stormed to the Division Three championship in 2002 and then again in 2004 when Argyle won the Division Two title.

As Argyle settled into life in the Championship Hodges again proved himself a team player providing cover for several different positions under four different managers. Injury has restricted his appearances in recent seasons, particularly a long-term back problem but Hodges has still made a contribution to this season.

Every team needs a ‘Lee Hodges’ fortunately he played for Plymouth Argyle.

Good luck for the future Hodgy!