Izale is keen to keep his Dons' scoring record

Izale McLeod
Izale McLeod

Izale McLeod scored his last goal for MK Dons in 2014, but his records are still to be surpassed... and he’d quite like it to stay that way.

Swapping Derby County for the newly formed Dons in 2004, McLeod, then 19, became the club’s first real poster boy as he led the line, finishing as top scorer in each of his three seasons at the club.

A second spell in 2012 saw him net 11 more goals to increase his total to 71 - a record which still remains the highest in Dons’ history.

“It’s nice!” he said. “It’s a record I fully expect to get beaten some time soon.

“In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that many – I think 71 in total – but while it stands, it’s a proud achievement. Fans always remind me, and it’s a really good feeling.

“I’d be lying if I told you I wanted to see it go! But I expect it to be beaten. The difference, nowadays, when a player comes in and scores 20 goals, the likelihood is that you get a move. It has been around long enough, but who knows!”

McLeod continues to work with MK Dons after retiring from playing

McLeod continues to work with MK Dons after retiring from playing

More accustomed to the commentary position at Stadium MK than the six-yard box these days, McLeod is Dons’ Community Ambassador - going into schools to spread the word of the club to youngsters in the city he now calls his second home.

He said: “Milton Keynes is my second home – my three daughters have been brought up here. I love the place and there is no reason for me to move away.

“I was at Derby from when I was 13, and was in the first team by 17.

“I played a lot, but after a manager change I went out on loan to Sheffield United. I was speaking to Robert Page, and Wimbledon at the time were interested in me.

McLeod during his second stint at MK Dons

McLeod during his second stint at MK Dons

“So I spoke to Stuart Murdoch, came down, spoke to Pete (Winkelman) and he sold it to me. I just wanted to go and play football.

“They paid £150,000 at the time, and the rest is history.

“All the lads we had were really good boys. We had a young squad, we were all a similar age, they’d all come out of the Wimbledon youth set up. I made some great friends, we still all speak now.

“But I loved just getting out playing and scoring goals. That catapulted me and my career to allow me to go on and do other things.

“When I look back, I look back with tremendous pride. When you’re playing, you’re always thinking of the next game, the next performance – it’s only when you look back you realise ‘you know what? I’ve done well!’

“To have two spells here was great for me. I loved it here, and I’m glad I got the goals I got.”

Despite scoring 17 goals in League 1, McLeod suffered relegation with the club in 2005, but he said his biggest regret was not to win promotion back to the third tier the following season.

However, he was named League 2’s Player of the Year as he ended top scorer, earning a £1.5 million move to Charlton.

His career would see him play for Colchester, Millwall, Peterborough, Barnet and Portsmouth before he returned to Stadium MK again in 2012.

He said: “The second spell was different – I wasn’t a main starter, I had to make do with minutes here, starts here and there, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“Patrick Bamford was a really good player when he was here, but when he left I had to step in and got a few goals.

“Coming back after that was a sense of pride because of what I had done here previously.”