“There are so many different types of epilepsy and they are all different in their own way, but all relate to each other. That’s why myself and others are helping raise awareness, to help more people understand the condition more, rather than just seizures and strobe lighting.
“I don’t actually have mine (seizures) when I’m awake anymore, I have them when I’m sleeping. I can tell when I’ve woken up that I’ve had a seizure. I’ve just got to be aware that when I’m tired, I’ve taken my medication and I get enough sleep.”
It’s not just Epilepsy Awareness Month that means a lot to Leon, but also Black History Month which ran throughout October. As a black footballer with epilepsy, he is in a clear minority within the game, but speaks candidly of his views: “It has a massive importance to me. I have plans to go into coaching and there’s so few Black, Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) managers and coaches in the game professionally.
“The social side of it is great. People and players are talking about the subject which is so important and getting people to understand what racial equality is.
“When these types of incidents happen in football, it can sometimes get brushed under the table. It’s a conversation that needs to continue into the next month and the one after.”
Back to his footballing career, there was a key moment as a young player that perhaps shaped his career going forward, “After not really knowing what my best position was, in midfield or defence, Brian Dennis came and watched me at Eastbourne United and asked me to go to Hailsham, he even came to my house and spoke to me.
“I spent a good couple of seasons there and ended up playing under Kenny McCreadie. Him and Brian were big influences for me. It was there under Brian that I solidified as a centre-back after chopping and changing for a while.”
Then, moving forward, things really picked up for the young Sussex footballer following a move to the Dripping Pan: “When Lewes came looking and after speaking to them and Eastbourne Borough I went to Lewes and I spent three great seasons there - winning the league (National League South) getting promoted to the National League Premier and winning the Sussex Senior Cup; I really loved my time there under Steve King.
“At this point I’m a young player playing at a good level, and I started to get scouted for a few professional clubs, like Brighton and I also went on trial at Peterborough.”