Leon Lalite (or Leon Bell as he was known when playing for Forest) has had quite the non-league career.
He began his career with Barnet, making his senior debut on the final day of the 1999-2000 season, as Barnet drew 1-1 away to Rochdale. He made 15 futher appearances for Barnet next season, but couldn’t help them from getting relegated from the football league.
He was an almost ever-present the next season in the Conference, turning out 28 times and scoring twice, earning a move to Stevenage Borough the following season.
It’s here where he caught Forest manager Hakan Hayrettin’s eye, and despite spells for Boreham Wood, Bristol Rovers and Cambridge City, Hayrettin always coveted Lalite, and was sure he could get him playing for Forest.
After a brief stop at Harlow, Lalite finally signed for Forest, but only made two appearances before moving back to Harlow. For all Hayrettin’s hard work in signing Lalite, his Forest career was over before it even started.
Leon spent the next five season with Harlow, a mainstay in a team which was promoted to the Isthmian Premier in 2005-6, but relegated in 2008-9.
From there he moved to Thurrock, linking up with Hayrettin again. After two seasons at The Fleet, Lalite returned to Harlow, only to reunite with Hayrettin for a second time, this time at Grays Athletic. Here, he was instrumental in Grays winning the Isthmian Division 1 North title, losing just four games all season.
The following season back in the Isthmian Premier was Lalite’s last one playing senior Saturday football, though he was part of the New Salamis team who won the FA Sunday Cup two years running.
All Leyton Pennant and Waltham Forest stats compiled by, and used with the permission of Steve Howe. If you’ve got any of the missing statistics for this player, please contact us.