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Blues Academy Player Of The Past

10 January 2018

This week's player of the past is Leon Johnson...

Leon Johnson started his career with Blues Academy in the late 1990’s, where he impressed coaches with his defensive talents and was eventually granted his professional debut at the age of 19.

The game took place on 7th December 1999 in a Football League Trophy game against CheltenhamTown, the result ended 1-0 to the visitors, but Johnson said he learnt valuable experience after playing with first team regulars Martin Carruthers, Simon Coleman and Nathan Jones.

Over the next two seasons, Johnson continued to gain first team experience in Blues squad and eventually held a regular starting space in the 2001/02 season, but after failing to agree a new contract he was made a free agent at the end of the season, leaving Southend after making over 60 appearances.

Johnson was snatched up by Gillingham after impressing on trial and featured in 20 games during his first season, playing against Crystal Palace, Watford, Stoke and Brighton.

In the 2005/06 season Johnson faced his former club in League One, he was named on the bench and remained an unused substitute in the game at Roots Hall, but in the reverse fixture he was placed in the starting 11.

After five years with the Gills he was released and made a move to League Two side Wycombe Wanderers. Johnson started 50 out of 51 games in his debut season, winning the Player of the Season award, making the perfect start to what would be his longest spell with a club.

He helped the Chairboys gain promotion on two occasions but during the 2008/09 season he fell out of favour with the manager (Peter Taylor) and was placed on the bench for most of the season.

Johnson spent seven years with Wycombe and made 200 appearances for the Buckinghamshire side before retiring at the end of the 2013/14 season.

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