Saturday, 16 July 2016

CCFC Where Are They Now #1 - Leon McKenzie

 Born in Croydon, a product of Crystal Palace's youth academy, Leon McKenzie had to go through Palace, Norwich and Peterborough before making the Deadline Day £600,000 switch to the Sky Blues back in 2006. It's just a shame that we have nowhere near that money to splash out on players these days. He didn't have the most glittering of three years with us but still provided some good moments in a Coventry shirt, such as netting in the 4-0 opening day win over Barnsley in 2007.

 He scored once again not long after against Hull but unfortunately we were unable to see whether this would materialise into some proper goalscoring form as he was ruled out for several weeks with a knee injury. McKenzie scored again at the start of the 08/09 season versus former club Norwich, this just happened to be his 100th career goal and he celebrated it appropriately by unveiling a vest under his shirt with "100" written on it.

 This was to be his last year with Coventry however as in September 2009 he transferred to Charlton. In his 1 year there he only scored once, against Southampton in the Football League Trophy. Sadly, Leon battled depression whilst playing in London and speaking in 2011 he admitted to attempting suicide during this very dark period of his life.

 After being released by Charlton he somewhat got his career back on track at Northampton as he got 10 goals in his 27 appearances. For those of you who are good at maths you will know that that its a 1 n 2.7 ratio which is fairly decent yet he still only lasted just the one season up in the Midlands. It was becoming fairly obvious that he was in his football twilight years so not many were surprised when he announced his retirement from professional football on 17th December 2011 at the age of 33. In the February of 2012 he was sentenced to 6 months in prison for trying to avoid speeding charges but upon exit he made an instant return to football.

 His last ever club, Corby Town, he made 12 appearances in his 5 months scoring 3 goals. On New Years Day 2013 he made his final appearance for Corby and then retired for a second and final time. He didn't have the best career to have graced the planet, he just failed to recapture the form of his days at Peterborough. Tinkering too much with his club meant he paid the price and eventually fizzled out.

 If you thought this was the end of Leon McKenzie then you would be wrong, whilst it wasn't football, he followed in his fathers footsteps and became a professional boxer. Since his first fight back in 2013 which he won after it was stopped in the second round he has entered the ring 8 more times, winning 7 and drawing 1. Overall 8 wins and 1 draw.

 After defeating John McCallum in October last year he is now on for a UK Super-Middleweight title, let's hope the former Cov lad can do it! Aside from sport he also does talks where he tries to raise awareness for people with depression so Leon is definitely doing something right. This is a sort of series of posts I am starting, let me know if this is something that interests you in the comments of whichever Social Media I have placed this on. Although I have a couple of players in mind, do let me know if you have any suggestions for which former Sky Blue man I could look into next!

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