in Liverpool on 3rd August 1949. 6’ 3” Leo was a stylish
centre forward who began his football career with Burscough in the Cheshire
County League and had already earned himself a reputation as a an athletic
and prolific number 9 before he moved to Ellesmere Port Town who were
then in the Northern Premier League. Whilst playing for Ellesmere Port
Leo was scouted by and signed professional forms for Rochdale in 1973.
was leading scorer for ‘Dale in the 1973/74 season before a change
in management at Spotland saw him left out of the side and available
for loan. That loan arrangement saw Leo arrive at Seel Park under the
management of Bob Murphy in January 1975 after scoring 15 goals in 40
games for Rochdale.
Leo made his Mossley debut in a 2-1 home win over League leaders Boston
United on 18th January 1974. His first goal came in a 1-0 win at Stalybridge
Celtic three days later whilst striking up an almost instant understanding
with fellow front man, the equally prolific Davey Moore. Although Leo
missed a number of games after having his jaw broken in an FA Trophy
tie at Burton Albion he still managed to score 15 goals
in 18 appearances before the season’s close
Leo was signed on a permanent basis on a free transfer in August 1975
and having moved home from Liverpool to Oldham was also given employment
by the then Club President, the late Ronnie Ward’s engineering
company Weldem Ltd in Mossley.
The 1975/76 season saw Leo score 20 goals in 58 appearances but also
added many assists with 38 goal Davey Moore the favored recipient of
Leo’s often selfless attacking play.
The 1976/77 season saw Leo break the Club’s post war goal-scoring
record when netting 45 goals in just 60 appearances. His partnership
with Moore yielding an incredible 77 goals in a season that saw later
England manager Howard Wilkinson as Mossley Player/Manager.
The 1977/78 season saw Leo win the first of two successive Mossley ‘Player
of the Year’ awards whilst scoring 26 goals in 57 appearances
as Bob Murphy returned as Manager.
The 1978/79 season saw Leo lead from the front as “Murphy’s
Magnificent Mossley” won the Northern Premier League and League
Cup double in superb style with Leo scoring 26 goals in 53 appearances
alongside Mossley’s four pronged goalscoring machine made up of
Skeete, Moore, Eamonn O’Keefe and Ian Smith.
Leo was team captain as Mossley retained the League title in 1979/80
and when Mossley defied the odds to reach Wembley in the FA Trophy Final
it was Leo Skeete who led out the team behind manager Murphy. Leo scored
29 goals in 55 appearances that season. He also won representative honours
with the NPL and was named in the England Semi Pro squad in 1980 though
to many peoples surprise Mossley team mate Ian Smith made the England
team but not Leo.
The 1980/81 season saw him score 19 goals in 42 appearances as Mossley
finished as runners up in the Northern Premier League and Leo was granted
a Testimonial Match where Mossley drew 1-1 against a Manchester United
The 1981/82 season was to be his last as a Mossley player having scored
7 goals in 14 appearances Leo played his final Mossley game in a 1-0
defeat at Southport on 5th December 1981 before a £3,500 transfer
fee took him to Runcorn where he helped them to win the Alliance Premier
Leo retired from playing two seasons later following an injury hit spell
Leo Skeete made a total of 350 appearances for Mossley scoring a remarkable
174 goals. He is second only to his former team-mate Davey Moore in
Mossley’s all time goal-scorers list.