Born in Stevenage, Leon Barnett only started playing football at the age of 13.
He joined local club Bushmead Wanderers at that age and was immediately playing against teams that were a year older than him.
Barnett, who initially started as a right-winger, was picked up by Luton Town in 2002, spending three years within the club’s academy.
Despite continuing with the club’s academy for so long, Barnett almost immediately was handed his first-team debut with The Hatters, when he featured in a 2-0 win over Woking in 2002.
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It took a while for the young defender to fully breakthrough into the first-team set up, but it was Luton’s 2005/06 campaign where Barnett was afforded the regular chance to impress.
The centre-back then played 39 league games the following year for The Hatters, and whilst it was a season where Luton were ultimately relegated, it was a year where he impressed enough to earn a move to West Brom.
Barnett played 32 times in his debut season for The Baggies, helping his new club to promotion to the Premier League, however, he only went on to make 13 appearances in two more years in the Midlands.
Barnett then joined Norwich City in the summer of 2010, proceeding to make 25 appearances for The Canaries during their promotion-winning season.
The defender went on to play 25 more times in two top-tier years with the Norfolk club, before securing a move to Wigan Athletic.
Barnett played 41 league games during the 2013/14 campaign for The Latics, proving to be an integral first-teamer from minute one.
Playing 20 times in the season after, Wigan were relegated to League One, with Barnett going on to play another 20 games in the division below.
Barnett then spent the 2016/17 campaign with Bury, before joining Northampton Town for the next two seasons, before retiring from the playing side of the game when those two years came to an end.
Deciding his next venture would remain in football, the defender opened the Leon Barnett Football Academy shortly after retiring.
Operating in the Luton area, Barnett, as well as former professional football player Rob Sinclair, coach at the academy, which is located in Cranfield, Bedfordshire.