Potteries-born, Lewis captained his home club's under-21s and under-23s and was named under-23 player-of-the-year at the age of 21, Stoke's Academy coach marking the presentation by telling him: "You lead by example, and it is clear other players look up to you."
After a season at Stafford Rangers, he embarked on a highly-successful spell with Sligo Rovers in the League of Ireland Premier Division, where his 100-plus appearances included a wealth of European experience and a player-of-the-year award in his first season at the club in 2019.
He started in both legs of Sligo's 3-0 aggregate win over Motherwell in the Europa Conference League and played in four further ties before Sligo eventually bowed out to Viking Stavanger of Norway.
Though defending is his prime responsibility, he showed he has an eye for goal in the League of Ireland by twice popping up with a late winner, against Longford Town and Finn Harps.
His travels took him to Arbroath, between Dundee and Aberdeen on the east coast of Scotland, in January, but he readily admitted he was glad to be closer to home after linking up with the Robins and preparing for the start of the 2023-24 season in the Vanarama National League.