Pidgeley on loan at Woking in 2008
|Full name||Leonard James Pidgeley|
|Date of birth||7 February 1984|
|Place of birth||Twickenham, England|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|2003–2004||→ Watford (loan)||27||(0)|
|2005||→ Millwall (loan)||0||(0)|
|2008||→ Woking (loan)||16||(0)|
|2015||→ Mansfield Town (loan)||15||(0)|
|2016||Forest Green Rovers||0||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 April 2017 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:16, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Leonard James Pidgeley (born 7 February 1984) is an English former footballer who played as a goalkeeper. A former England youth international, his previous clubs include Chelsea, Millwall and Newport County.
Pidgeley was born in Twickenham, London. He initially signed up with Chelsea at the opening of the 2002–03 season, and was loaned out to Watford between September 2003 and May 2004, a deal initially intended to last for two months, but which was extended to the end of the season. His debut Watford match was on 4 October against Crewe Alexandra, which they won 1–0, in which he came on as a substitute after the dismissal of Alec Chamberlain.
Due to Carlo Cudicini being suspended, Pidgeley was on the bench as Chelsea won the 2005 Football League Cup Final. He then made his debut for Chelsea coming on as a substitute for Cudicini in the final home game of the 2004–05 Premiership season against Charlton Athletic. This meant Pidgeley was on the pitch as Chelsea were presented with the Premier League trophy as English champions. Except for a League Cup game while on loan at Millwall, Pidgeley spent the whole of the 2005–06 season at Chelsea. He spent the season as third choice goalkeeper behind Petr Čech and Cudicini. He was given the number 40 shirt by Chelsea, in reference to his time at Watford when they beat Watford 4–0 in an FA Cup match, with Pidgeley in goal. He made his first starting appearance for the club in the last match of the season against Newcastle United at St James' Park, after Cudicini had suffered an injury in pre-match training.
Pidgeley has previously been selected for the England under-21 squad.
Pidgeley sought first-team football, and signed a three-year contract with Millwall in League One on 10 June 2006. He became their first choice goalkeeper in the 2006–07 season, before injury and the arrival of new manager Kenny Jackett during the following season.
In August 2008, he signed a one-month loan with Woking. On his last home league game for Woking before returning to Millwall he saved a penalty from Steve Morison against Woking's rivals Stevenage Borough. Pidgeley had been tipped to go into talks with League One side Carlisle United during 2009–10 pre-season. He signed a one-year deal with the Cumbrians on 8 July after the departure of Ben Williams to Colchester United.
He spent the first two months of the 2010–11 season with Conference South side Woking, before leaving in September 2010 after making nine appearances for the club. On 26 October 2010, he was given a trial with League Two club Bradford City appearing for Bradford's reserves against Sheffield United. He made his debut on 30 October in a 5–0 win against Oxford United.
In June 2011, Pidgeley signed on a free transfer for League One side Exeter City on a one-year contract. In May 2012, Pidgeley was released by Exeter after the club was relegated from Football League One.
In August 2012, Pidgeley signed a short-term contract with Newport County as cover for the injured Alan Julian. At County, Lenny was also given the number 40 shirt and he was ever-present in the team as County topped the league after 11 matches. Due to his fine form and ongoing injury to Alan Julian his contract was extended in September 2012 until the end of the 2012–13 season. Newport finished 3rd in the league, reaching the Conference playoffs. Newport County won the playoff final versus Wrexham at Wembley Stadium 2–0 to return to the Football League after a 25-year absence with promotion to Football League Two. For the first time in Conference history the winning team had not conceded a single goal in the play-offs.
In January 2016, Pidgeley dropped into non-league to sign for Isthmian League side Leatherhead. Three months later however, in March 2016, he signed for National League side Forest Green Rovers. Following the sacking of Adrian Pennock, he went on to take on a temporary goalkeeper coach role at Forest Green under the caretaker management of Scott Bartlett, as the club reached the 2015-16 National League play-off final at Wembley Stadium only to lose 3-1 against Grimsby Town.
On 27 July 2016, Pidgeley joined Isthmian League Division One South side Hastings United, joining former Chelsea teammate Steven Watt. On 13 August 2016, Pidgeley made his Hastings United debut in a 4–1 victory over South Park.
On 17 May 2018, Pidgeley joined Southern Football League side Farnborough. On 12 September, Farnborough announced Pidgeley's retirement from football which led to media backlash after the club's poor handling of the subject.
- Hugman, Barry J. (ed) (2008). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2008–09. Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-84596-324-8.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- "Crewe 0–1 Watford". BBC. 4 October 2003. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- "Cudicini to miss Carling final". London: telegraph.co.uk. 22 February 2005. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- "Liverpool 2–3 Chelsea". BBC. 27 February 2005. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- "Chelsea 1 Charlton 0". Sporting Life. 7 May 2005. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- "Millwall 2–2 Birmingham (aet)". BBC. 29 November 2005. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- "Chelsea 4–0 Watford". BBC. 14 January 2004. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- "Newcastle 1–0 Chelsea". BBC. 7 May 2006. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- "Lions sign Blues keeper Pidgeley". BBC News. 10 June 2006.
- "Former Millwall goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley leaves Woking". BBC Sport. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "Bradford 5 – 0 Oxford Utd". BBC Sport. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
- Pidgeley extends at Newport
- Hughes, Dewi (5 May 2013). "Wrexham 0–2 Newport". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- Pidgeley joins Mansfield
- Newport players released
- "Former Chelsea goalkeeper joins Forest Green Rovers". BBC Sport. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
- "Forest Green 1-3 Grimsby". BBC Sport. 15 May 2016.
- "Lenny Pidgeley & Harry Stannard sign". Hastings United F.C. 27 July 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
- "HASTINGS UNITED FC VS SOUTH PARK". Hastings United F.C. 13 August 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
- "Lenny Latest To Join The Gate". Margate Official Site. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
- "Farnborough announce three Summer signings". Farnborough F.C. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "Club Statement: Goalkeeper situation". Farnborough. 12 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "Football club slammed for "outing" ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley as suffering from mental health issues". The Daily Mirror. 13 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
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