|Full name||Leonard Badger|
|Date of birth||8 June 1945|
|Place of birth||Darnall, Sheffield, England|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:43, 25 April 2012 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 08:43, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Leonard 'Len' Badger (born 8 June 1945) is a former English football player who played as a right-back. Born in Tinsley Park, Sheffield he spent the majority of his career at Sheffield United before moving on to a shorter spell at Chesterfield where he finished his career.
Badger was born and brought up in the Tinsley Park area of Sheffield. He was an England schoolboy international who served his apprenticeship at Bramall Lane, and progressed through the junior ranks at Sheffield United and Sheffield Boys, before making his league debut for the Blades against Leyton Orient at Bramall Lane on 26 April 1963.
By the end of the 1963–64 season he established himself as first choice at right back, replacing club stalwart Cec Coldwell and remained a regular there until 1975. His stylish full-back displays, meant it was not long before he took over as captain and, at the time, he was one of the youngest skippers in the league. Badger’s left-back colleagues of the early and mid-sixties included Graham Shaw and Bernard Shaw, but it was the arrival of Ted Hemsley in 1968 that provided him with his most fruitful partnership which continued through one of United’s most successful post war periods from 1969–1972.
His attacking instincts, along with those of Hemsley, showed well as United just failed to win promotion in the 1969–70 season. Badger was an ever present in the Division Two promotion winning side of the 1970–71 season, and although he failed to find the net in that particular season, he will be best remembered for buccaneering runs and crosses from the right-wing and for his occasional thunderous shot from 25 yards or more.
In his time with United he made 457 league appearances with seven goals.
Badger left Bramall Lane soon after the arrival of new Blades manager Jimmy Sirrel being sold to Chesterfield on 1 January 1976. He played for a further two seasons for the Spireites making 46 appearances before a series of knee injuries ended his career.
Badger played seven times for England Youths, thirteen times for England U23s and for the Football League side. Had he not been a contemporary of George Cohen and Keith Newton, Len would have undoubtedly won many full England caps. He shared with Alan Woodward the dubious distinction of being widely regarded[by whom?] as the best player in his position at the time never to win a full international cap.
Sheffield United career stats
|Season||Division||League Apps||League Goals||FA Cup Apps||FA Cup Goals||League Cup Apps (sub)||League Cup Goals||Other Apps||Other Goals||Total Apps (sub)||Total Goals|
|1972–73||One||35||0||2||0||4 (1)||0||3||0||44 (1)||0|
- "They Played At The Lane". Sheffield United matchday programme. January 1989.
- Clarebrough, Denis (1989). Sheffield United F.C., The First 100 years. Sheffield United Football Club.
- Denis Clarebrough & Andrew Kirkham (2008). Sheffield United Who's Who. Hallamshire Press. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-874718-69-7.
- "A to Z Encyclopedia". Sheffield United matchday programme. 31 August 1985.
- Flashing Blade (Issue 29) - Sheffield United matchday fanzine. March 1993. Missing or empty