Leonard "Lenny" Johnrose was an English professional football player who during his career played for several clubs including Burnley, Bury and Swansea City. Johnrose is best known as a tough-tackling defensive midfielder.
He began his career at Blackburn Rovers as a young trainee, and also spent time on loan at Preston North End. During these spells he impressed to a level where he was signed for £50,000 by Hartlepool United. He would go on to make over fifty appearances for the 'Pool, getting eleven goals in the process. At the end of his contract, he was snapped up by Bury manager Stan Ternent who wanted to add some toughness to his central midfield.
Johnrose was a central character in Bury's rapid rise to the First Division. Ternent saw the midfielder as so important to his sides that he paid £225,000 to take Johnrose with him to his new club, Burnley. Johnrose would become a cult hero amongst Burnley fans who loved his dedication and commitment to the cause. At the end of the 2002-03 season he was released on a free transfer though, having served the club well. The split between Johnrose and Burnley would only last four months though, and he re-signed for the club on a week-to-week basis later the same year.
This would not last long and Johnrose opted to re-sign for another of his old clubs, Bury. He served Bury well for three months before again moving, this time to Swansea City on a non-contract basis, making it an incredible three clubs in just six months.
Johnrose played an important role in helping Swansea City avoid relegation from the Third Division out of the Football League. Johnrose scored 3 crucial goals that season. Two goals in one week in March helped earn an away draw at Kidderminster and a home victory against Oxford. His final, and most crucial goal in a Swansea shirt, came on the final Saturday of the 2002-2003 season.
Swansea City had to equal or better Exeter's result against Southend in their game at the Vetch Field versus Hull City in order to preserve their league status. Johnrose poked home from close range from a Roberto Martinez free-kick early in the second half to put the Swans 3-2 and send a packed Vetch Field into raptures. The Swans won 4-2 and preserved their league status at the expense of Exeter.
In the summer of 2003, Johnrose was offered a 12 x month contact with Swansea, and started the 2003-2004 season in the unfamiliar role of Centre Half. After recovering from a hamstring injury, Johnrose briefly became Captain for a short time and reverted to his more familiar defensive central midfield role.
The talk around Christmas 2003 was of a further 12 x month contract extension at the end of that season, however, when Manager Brian Flynn left the club by mutual consent in March 2004, Johnrose had his contract paid up and left the Swans within two days.
Johnrose will always be associated in South Wales for his goal in the "Final Day" drama against Hull City, along with a thoroughly professional attitude that meant he often played out of position with minimal fuss.
Johnrose signed for Burnley for a third time on transfer deadline day (March 2004) and went on to help 'the Clarets' avoid relegation from the First Division. He had a famously good performance in the 2-0 home win against Wimbledon, displaying his tough tackling, no-nonsense attitude to the full.
After this final flourish Johnrose retired from the professional game to pursue qualifications in Sports Science, but made an appearance at the 2005 Masters Football tournament, representing Blackburn Rovers.