Who The Hell Was… Kevin Lisbie?

By Pete H

In our mind’s eye, some players are inextricably linked with specific clubs. Tony Thorpe and Luton Town was one such connection we always used to make back in the day. Another that you may consider is Kevin Lisbie and Charlton Athletic. The question that comes out of this, however, is “what does that have to do with us”. And it’s reasonable enough to have such an insatiable sense of confusion as to why we’re rambling on about a former Jamaican striker.

Kevin Lisbie: Who Is He?

Lisbie started his career in the mid-1990s with the Addicks; his professional debut made in September 1996. It was the start of an 11-year association with the south London club. That said, it wasn’t without the occasional loan move away. It includes brief spells at Gillingham and Reading in 1999, as well as QPR a year later. Indeed, his time with Charlton looked as if the end was approaching when he found himself put on the transfer list in February 2002.

His fortunes changed, though. Just three months later, he earned himself a new contract at the club. And that twist of fate paved the way for the striker to experience what is probably his biggest highlight for the Addicks; a hattrick against Liverpool in a 2002-3 Premier League game. By now, Lisbie had cemented his place in the Charlton team and things were going in the right direction – until a series of nose bleeds in 2005 revealed a benign tumour.

When did he sign and who from?

Lisbie got treatment for the tumour in summer 2005, and was back in action in time for the 2005-6 season. But he’d soon enough be heading out on loan again. First, he was off to East Anglia for a brief spell at Norwich City – only to be recalled early. He then had some time at Derby County. And, now, it was the beginning of the end of his time at The Valley. In summer 2007, Lisbie was released by Charlton – and signed for Colchester United.

After such a long time on the books at the Addicks, the next few years saw the striker move around a bit. A successful year with the Us saw Ipswich Town swoop for him in July 2008. He would have three campaigns at Portman Road (including a couple of loan spells, one being back to Colchester). Next, the striker secured a move to Leyton Orient; a club at which there would be more success for the player during his near-four seasons there.

As it goes, it’d be towards the end of his time with the Os that Boro’ would bring him in; the forward coming to us on loan in March 2015 as Graham Westley‘s side pushed for the League Two playoffs. Given his career record up to that point, it felt like a good move for all parties.

After leaving Charlton Athletic, Kevin Lisbie enjoyed a successful time at Leyton Orient.
Photo via Sky Sports

Did he play often?

We got three matches out of the experienced striker; Lisbie featuring in three games on the bounce following his arrival. He didn’t score, however, and Boro’ didn’t win any of them. The striker then suffered an injury that kept him out for the rest of his time with us. That ended in mid-April, when he returned to Leyton Orient. What was billed as a “massive loss” for Os at the time didn’t translate into a tangible benefit for Boro’.

And that’s how it happens sometimes.

Where is Kevin Lisbie now?

As expected, the Os released Lisbie at the end of that season; freeing up the player to move to Barnet. To be fair, he was nearly 37-years-old by this point and a descent into non-league football was a logical step for any player looking to prolong their career. After departing the Bees, Lisbie saw action at Whitehawk and Cray Valley Paper Mills; the latter of the two being pretty successful by all accounts. Most recently (2022), he was seen playing for VCD Athletic.

KEVIN LISBIE3 (0) appearances, 0 goals (2015)

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