Biography

Leon is 43 years old and lives in Chaddesden, Derby.  He is married to Victoria and has three children, Molly (14), Megan (11) & Michael (8).

Leon was a Goalkeeper with the England Cerebral Palsy Football Team from
2003-2011 and competed in international tournaments across Europe and the
rest of the world including:-

Cerebral Palsy World Cup – Argentina
Cerebral Palsy World Championships – USA
Arafura Games – Australia

The highlight of Leon’s sporting career was being selected as a member of the Great Britain team which competed at the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008 – indeed he was Derby’s only representative at the Games.

Leon won the Derby City Disabled Sports Person of the Year Award in 2008 & 2009 and the Sports Person of the Year Award in 2011.  In addition, he won the Derby City Community Sports Award in 2015.

Leon was the First Olympic Torchbearer of the Day as the flame left his home City of Derby in June 2012.  Leon is also a Trustee of Derby County Community Trust – focusing on Disability Football provision across Derbyshire.

Until his retirement from competitive football he was also the player representative on the National Cerebral Palsy League Committee. He has previously been a player mentor for the East Midlands Cerebral Palsy Elite Football Squad and is currently an assistant coach of the newly formed Derby County Community Trust Adult Cerebral Palsy Team.

In the summer of 2015 Leon was a ‘Team 7’ volunteer at the Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships at St George’s Park and in addition was a member of the tournament’s Legacy Group.

Leon is a Sporting Ambassador for the charity Cerebral Palsy Sport, the country’s leading national disability sports organisation supporting people with cerebral palsy to achieve their sporting potential.  He is also a Sporting Patron for the Derby City School Sports Partnership.

Away from Sport, Leon is the Patron of Hemi Hearts, a support group for children and families living with hemiplegia, a form of cerebral palsy.  He is also the UK Spokesperson for the World Cerebral Palsy Day Committee.

Leon has a passion for education and was until recently, the Chair of Governors at a large city primary school where he remains on the Governing Board. Since 2014 has been the Chancellor of Derby’s Children’s University.

Leon has worked for Derby Homes, an arm’s length management organisation of Derby City Council since 2003.

He has a degree in politics and takes keen interest in current affairs.  Leon has a love of music, citing the Pet Shop Boys as his favourite act.

Leon can talk passionately about overcoming the challenge of being born with a disability – Cerebral Palsy which predominantly affects the right side of his body, to achieve his life’s ambitions and the rocky road in between!!