Leo Fortune-West

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Leo Fortune-West
Leo Fortune-West 3.png
Fortune-West warming up for Cambridge United before the 2008 Conference Premier play-off Final
Personal information
Full name Leopold Paul Osborne Fortune-West[1]
Date of birth (1971-04-09) 9 April 1971 (age 43)
Place of birth Stratford, England
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Tiptree United ? (?)
Bishop's Stortford ? (?)
1992–1993 Dartford ? (?)
1993–1994 Dagenham ? (?)
1994–1995 Stevenage Borough 17 (7)
1995–1998 Gillingham 67 (18)
1997 Leyton Orient (loan) 3 (0)
1998 Lincoln City 9 (1)
1998 Rotherham United (loan) 5 (4)
1998–1999 Brentford 11 (0)
1999–2000 Rotherham United 59 (26)
2000–2003 Cardiff City 92 (23)
2003–2006 Doncaster Rovers 90 (19)
2006–2007 Rushden & Diamonds 6 (0)
2006 Torquay United (loan) 5 (0)
2006–2007 Shrewsbury Town (loan) 19 (7)
2007–2008 Cambridge United 23 (6)
2008 York City (loan) 13 (2)
2008–2009 Alfreton Town 15 (5)
2009 North Ferriby United ? (?)
2009–2010 Goole ? (?)
2010–2013 Armthorpe Welfare ? (?)
Teams managed
2012–2013[2] Armthorpe Welfare
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 06:07, 30 November 2011 (UTC). † Appearances (Goals).

Leopold Paul Osborne "Leo" Fortune-West (born Leopold Osborne West)[3] (born 9 April 1971) is an English footballer who usually plays as a striker.

Fortune-West started his career with Eastern Counties League side Tiptree United, and played for four more non-League sides before securing a move to the Football League with Gillingham for a fee of £5,000. He finished his first season with them as top scorer, and had several short stints with other League clubs before joining Cardiff City, where he played for three seasons. He played for the side as they achieved two promotions, but left on a free transfer.

He spent three seasons with Doncaster Rovers, winning promotion in his first, but was released in 2006. He then moved back to non-League football with Rushden & Diamonds, but soon made loan returns to the League with Torquay United and Shrewsbury Town. He spent time with Cambridge United and York City before joining Alfreton Town in 2008.

Career[edit]

Early career in Non-league[edit]

Fortune-West was born on 9 April 1971 in Stratford, east London and grew up as a Leyton Orient F.C. supporter.[4][5] He started his footballing career in non-League football with Tiptree United in the Eastern Counties League at the age of 17, with whom he played one season, filling the roles of full back, centre back and striker.[5] He moved onto Bishop's Stortford and joined Dartford in the season they went out of business.[5] A period at Dagenham followed this before he signed for Stevenage Borough in the Football Conference in 1994.[5] He scored seven goals in 17 appearances in his season at Stevenage,[6] after which he moved into the Football League with Gillingham for a fee of £5,000,[4] which was raised for the cash-strapped Kent team by its Supporters' Club.[7] Becoming a full-time professional necessitated giving up a degree course at the University of Greenwich.[5][8]

Football League[edit]

His first season at Gillingham, 1995–96, saw him score in each of his first three League matches,[9] and he went on finish as the club's top scorer with 15 goals in all competitions, and Gillingham subsequently earned promotion to the Second Division.[10][11] After having made eight appearances and scored three goals for Gillingham during the 1996–97 season,[12] he joined Leyton Orient on loan in March 1997 until the end of the season,[4] making three appearances.[13] He signed for Second Division side Lincoln City on a free transfer in June 1998 and after making 11 appearances and scoring one goal, he was loaned out to Rotherham United in the Third Division.[14] He scored four goals in five appearances during this loan spell and eventually Brentford signed him for £60,000 in November 1998.[4] His debut for the team came in a 2–1 defeat to Leyton Orient on 21 November 1998 and scored one goal in 15 appearances for the side before returning to Rotherham for a fee of £35,000.[4][15]

He scored eight goals in 17 appearances as Rotherham made the Third Division play-offs,[14] which saw them lose to Leyton Orient on penalties in the semi-final.[16] The 1999–2000 season saw Fortune-West finish as Rotherham's top scorer with 17 goals in 43 appearances,[17] while the club won promotion to the Second Division.[18] After a month into the 2000–01 season, he joined Cardiff City in the Third Division for a fee of £300,000.[4] Here he again gained promotion to the Second Division,[19] scoring 13 goals in 41 appearances during the season.[20] By the end of the season, Cardiff's rivals Swansea City were believed to be ready to make an attempt at signing Fortune-West.[21] He scored Cardiff's second goal in their play-off semi-final first leg match against Stoke City, which finished as a 2–1 victory at the Britannia Stadium in April 2002.[22] However, after featuring in a 2–0 defeat in the second leg at Ninian Park, Cardiff missed out on making the final after losing 3–2 on aggregate.[23] He featured for Cardiff in the FAW Premier Cup final against Swansea in May, which finished as a 1–0 victory,[24] and finished the 2001–02 season with 44 appearances and scored 11 goals.[25] He gained his second promotion with Cardiff in the 2002–03 season after they won the play-offs,[26] but was released following the completion of this season,[27] during which he made 28 appearances and scored four goals.[28]

Bristol Rovers denied that they were interested in signing Fortune-West in June 2003,[29] but Doncaster Rovers of the Third Division eventually moved for him, where he signed a two-year contract.[30] His first season with the club, 2003–04, saw him score 12 goals in 43 appearances as they won the Third Division championship, earning a place in the Second Division,[31][32] during which he formed a strike partnership with Gregg Blundell.[33] He suffered a knee injury caused by wear and tear to the knee joint in October 2004, which resulted in him underdoing surgery, and returned to the side in March 2005.[34][35] He was to be offered a new deal in April and finished the season with seven goals in 28 appearances.[36][37] The following season was his last with Doncaster, as he was released after scoring four goals in 33 appearances.[38][39]

Fortune-West warming up for Cambridge United before the 2008 Conference Premier play-off Final

Rushden and Shrewsbury[edit]

He returned to non-League football after he signed for Rushden & Diamonds in the Conference National in June on a two-year contract.[40] He joined Torquay United of League Two on loan in September as cover for the injured Mickey Evans,[41] but was recalled by Rushden due to an injury crisis in early November,[42] after making five appearances for the side.[43] Days later, he signed for Shrewsbury Town, originally on a two-month loan deal,[44] which was extended to the end of the 2006–07 season.[45] His Shrewsbury debut came as a substitute in a 2–0 defeat to Milton Keynes Dons on 18 November 2006,[46] after hoping he would be able to play in the FA Cup tie against Hereford United.[47] Following their 2–0 win over Notts County in February, manager Gary Peters referred to Fortune-West as 'Ronseal', as he does "exactly what it says on the tin".[48] His final game for Shrewsbury came in the 2007 Football League Two play-off Final against Bristol Rovers at Wembley Stadium on 26 May 2007, coming on as a substitute in the 80th minute, as Shrewsbury lost 3–1.[49] With the season over, Fortune-West returned to his home club Rushden,[50] who he left by mutual consent in August.[51]

Back to Non-league[edit]

He signed for Cambridge United later that month after playing in a pre-season friendly for the team.[52][53] He started his Cambridge career by scoring four goals in the first three games, which included a hat-trick in their 5–1 victory over Farsley Celtic on 21 August 2007.[54] He was named as the Conference Premier player of the month for August.[55] He signed for Conference Premier rivals York City on loan until the end of the 2007–08 season on 31 January 2008,[56] after which he said he was looking to sign for the club permanently in the summer.[57] He scored on his debut against Grays Athletic after coming on as a 46th minute substitute for Richard Brodie on 9 February.[58] He started ahead of Brodie in the following games against Halifax Town and Histon,[59] but struggled during these games.[60] Cambridge attempted to recall him from his loan in March, but Conference rules meant that he would not be able to return.[61] He returned to Cambridge following the closure of his loan spell at York in April,[62] during which he made 13 appearances and scored two goals.[63] He featured in Cambridge's play-off semi-final second leg against Burton Albion, which was won 2–1, meaning the team reached the final 4–3 on aggregate.[64] He came on for the last 15 minutes in the 2008 Conference Premier play-off Final against Exeter City, but Cambridge lost 1–0,[65] and was later released by the club after making 28 appearances and scoring seven goals.[66][67]

On 11 June 2008 Fortune-West joined Conference North outfit Alfreton Town on a one-year contract for the 2008–09 season.[68] He made his debut in a 3–2 victory against Hyde United on 9 August 2008 and scored two headers late on in the following game, a 2–2 draw with Solihull Moors.[69][70] He scored a 61st minute equaliser with a close range header against Bury Town in an FA Cup first round tie on 8 November, bringing the game to 2–2, which eventually finished as a 4–2 victory, seeing Alfreton progress to the second round.[71] After struggling to affirm a place in the team, he was released by Alfreton on 28 January 2009.[72] He signed for North Ferriby on 3 March and made his debut as a substitute in a 2–1 win against Hednesford Town.[73] Fortune-West signed for Northern Premier League Division One South club Goole in July 2009,[74] debuting in the 1–1 home draw with Carlton Town on 15 August 2009.[75] In November 2010 he linked up with Armthorpe Welfare.[76] In May 2012 he became player-manager of Armthorpe, following the resignation of long term boss Des Bennett. On 4 April 2013 he resigned from his position.[77]

Personal life[edit]

Fortune-West has two nephews who are professional footballers; Clayton Fortune and Jonathan Fortune.[78] He was married in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in June 1996 and the couple had a child in 2000.[79][80]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 3 March 2009.
Club Performance
Club Season League[A] FA Cup League Cup Other[B] Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Stevenage Borough 1994–95[6] 17 7 ? ? 0 0 ? ? 17 7
Gillingham 1995–96[10] 40 12 3 2 2 1 0 0 45 15
1996–97[81] 7 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 8 3
1997–98[82] 20 4 1 0 1 0 0 0 22 4
Subtotal 67 18 4 2 4 2 0 0 75 22
Leyton Orient (loan) 1996–97[13] 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Lincoln City 1998–99[83] 9 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 11 1
Rotherham United (loan) 1998–99[4] 5 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 4
Brentford 1998–99[84] 11 0 1 0 0 0 3 1 15 1
Rotherham United 1998–99[14] 15 8 0 0 0 0 2 0 17 8
1999–2000[17] 39 17 2 0 2 0 0 0 43 17
2000–01[85] 5 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 7 1
Subtotal 59 26 2 0 2 0 4 0 67 26
Cardiff City 2000–01[20] 37 12 4 1 0 0 0 0 41 13
2001–02[25] 36 9 4 1 1 0 3 1 44 11
2002–03[28] 19 2 5 1 2 0 2 1 28 4
Subtotal 92 23 13 3 3 0 5 1 113 27
Doncaster Rovers 2003–04[31] 39 11 1 0 2 1 1 0 43 12
2004–05[37] 24 6 0 0 3 1 1 0 28 7
2005–06[39] 27 2 1 0 3 0 2 2 34 4
Subtotal 90 19 2 0 8 2 4 2 104 23
Rushden & Diamonds 2006–07[86] 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Torquay United (loan) 2006–07[43] 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 6 0
Shrewsbury Town (loan) 2006–07[87] 19 7 1 0 0 0 3 0 23 7
Cambridge United 2007–08[67] 23 6 3 1 0 0 2 0 28 7
York City (loan) 2007–08[63] 13 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 2
Alfreton Town 2008–09[88] 15 5 ? ? 0 0 ? ? 15 5
North Ferriby United 2008–09 1 0 ? ? 0 0 ? ? 1 0
Total 435 118 26 6 17 4 25 4 503 132
A. ^ The "League" column constitutes appearances and goals (including those as a substitute) in the Football League and Football Conference.
B. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals (including those as a substitute) in the Football League Trophy and play-offs.

Honours[edit]

Doncaster Rovers

References[edit]

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External links[edit]