Leon Braithwaite, brother of 1990s international sprinter Darren Braithwaite, joined Exeter City from Bishop’s Stortford and made over sixty league appearances in a two-year stay. Never appearing in the Football League again, Leon thereafter successfully played in Ireland before finishing in non-league football in and around London.
Leon started as a schoolboy at Charlton Athletic before playing for an assortment of non-league clubs in the East London area. Stepping up a notch to sign for Bishop’s Stortford, Leon caught the eye of Exeter City and signed for the Grecians in November 1995. Initially appearing against Bury on 25 November 1995, Leon made around sixty league appearances over the next two campaigns scoring eight times. Then as 1997/98 dawned Leon’s opportunities became fewer and fewer and, following another seven league and cup appearances (nearly all as substitute), he was loaned to Welling United in December 1997 before agreeing a permanent deal with Dublin club St Patrick’s Athletic three months later where he won league championships, played in Europe and narrowly missed playing for Trinidad & Tobago.
Leon later had significant spells back at Welling, Margate and Dagenham & Redbridge. He subsequently played for a succession of clubs before still turning out at a relatively senior level with Heybridge Swifts in 2008. A one-time junior sprinter himself, Leon worked as an athletics coach with his brother Darren and competed in veterans events as his football career ended. He also gained MSc in sports psychology and, as of 2023, described himself as an “experienced mental skill and athlete sprint and movement coach providing detailed plans and interventions for performance”.