Leon Julian Brendan Best
b. Nottingham 19 September 1986
First Goal 4 August 2013 Final Goal 28 September 2013
CAREER: St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School;Lourdes Celtic (Ireland);Notts County;Southampton Jul’04 [8+7-4];QPR Dec’04 (loan) [2+3];Swindon Town (loan) Aug’05 [2-1] (loan) Jan’06-May’06 [3+8-1];Bournemouth (loan) Aug’06-Oct’06 [12+3-3];Yeovil Town (loan) Nov’06-Feb’07 [14+1-10];Coventry City Jul’06 (£650,000) [70+22-19];Newcastle United Feb’10 (£1,200,000) [31+11-10];Blackburn Rovers Jul’12-Jul’15 (£3,000,000);Sheffield Wednesday Feb’14 (loan)[12+3-4];Derby County Aug’14-Jan’15 (loan)[0+15];Brighton Jan’15-May’15 (loan)[6+7];QPR Aug’15(trial);Huddersfield Town Sep’15 (trial)Rotherham United Nov’15-Jun’15 (free)[10+6-4];Ipswich Town Aug’16-Jun’17[5+6];Charlton Athletic Nov'17-Dec'17[2+3].
INTERNATIONALS Republic of Ireland 1 + 6 app.
’09 Nig,Bul(s).’10 v Rus(s),Ita(s),Mon(s),Fra(s)Bra(s).
SQUAD NUMBER 9 Jul’12.
FL 9 + 5 apps 2gls -6wdn 9ns
FAC 2 apps
Total 11 + 5 apps 2gls -6wdn + 119m -191m 10ns
Sent off 1
Strike rate 459 mins
Best grew up in a single parent family on the notorious St Ann’s Estate in Nottingham. His Irish mother, Irene, took him back to her native Ireland for a spell and he played for Lourdes Celtic, but they returned to Nottingham and Best attended the Notts County junior training academy. He was offered a training contract by Southampton but was loaned out regularly until Coventry signed him. His energy and goal scoring made him a success and he moved to Newcastle. Although popular on Tyneside he lost plating time through a medial ligament injury and then the signing of Demba Ba and Papa Cisse cost him his first team place, making him amenable to a move to Blackburn. After his highly heralded signing by the Rovers events provided an anti-climax. He injured a cruciate ligament in the pre-season games and did not play until March when his lack of passion and purpose proved a disappointment. Worse was to follow the following season when he used social media to criticise Gary Bowyer and elements of the Rovers’ fans. He was subsequently excluded from playing with the club and left in a limbo that a loan move to Sheffield Wednesday resolved. The end of the season saw no change in his circumstances and he was omitted from the Rovers’ plans for the season and loaned out to Derby. He was singularly unsuccessful as he was at Brighton and it was a surprise to no-one when the Rovers paid off the final year of his contract. His career drifted downhill and in January 2017 Ipswich announced that even though he was on contract until the end of the season he would not be considered for first team selection. A brief return with Charlton ended with a serious injury that terminated his career.