Date: 14th October 2011 at 9:01pm
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On a Friday night, when a night out has been restricted by the fact money isn’t present in my life, I feel it’s an ideal time to delve into the fortunes of those who have worn the red and white of Leyton Orient. From Europa League football to priesthood, Orient players have taken a number of different paths.

I will try and keep this article going over four weeks, giving me enough time to research ex-O’s and keeping my adoring public at wait for the next issue of ‘Where are they now?’ Tonight I will start with those who have tended the goal for Orient.

I’ll start with Jason Brown, who made five appearances in an Orient shirt last season. Signed on a one month loan deal from Blackburn Rovers, Brown joined Aberdeen in the Summer and has since made two appearances north of the border. Another keeper who has both Orient and Aberdeen connections is Stuart Nelson, who made 33 appearances in the 2007/08 season for Orient. After being dropped for being woeful and having a poor ability to keep hold of weak free-kicks, he then joined Aberdeen. Nelson made three appearances in Scotland before joining Notts County, where he still pretends to be a professional footballer.

The 2007/08 season saw Nelson dropped and replaced by Glenn Morris, who had nine seasons at Brisbane Road. Morris made 150 appearances for Orient but wasn’t offered a contract at the end of the 2009/10 season and joined League Two side Southend United, where he still is today. There’s another keeper with Orient and Southend connections and that is Rhys Evans. The England under-21 capped keeper joined Orient at the start of the 2002/03 season on loan from Chelsea and played the first seven games of that season. Rhys Evans was released by Southend in the summer and as yet, is unnattached.

The 2002/03 season was the last in professional football for Scott Barett. Barrett, the man who’s penalty saves earnt Orient the right to play at Wembley in 1999, made 114 appearances over four years for Orient. I believe Barrett has joined up with another ex-O, Mark Stimson, at Kettering Town as an Assistant Manager. Barrett was signed in the 1998/99 campaign to replace Chris Mackenzie. Mackenzie was signed by Tommy Taylor at the start of the 1998/99 season but was deemed surplus to requirements and headed back into non-league football with Nuneaton Borough. After drifting back into professional football with Shrewsbury Town and Chester City, Mackenzie is still going strong at the age of 39 in the Blue Square North with Corby Town, the team he started his career with.

In the 1998/99 season we used three goalkeepers, despite not many knowing that fact. Mel Capleton was used once during a short term deal at Brissy Road. Capleton’s only appearance in the net was away at then Premier League side Nottingham Forest in the Worthington Cup, as it was then known. Capleton had spells at Southend and Grays Athletic before retiring from the game. After an internet search, the ever reliable Wikipedia says that Capleton is now a personal trainer and works with disadvantaged children in South West London. Grays Athletic had another ex-O in goal around the time Capleton retired and that was Ashley Bayes. Bayes’ career started at Brentford but was signed by Taylor from Exeter City and made 86 appearances as he become a favourite amongst Orient fans. Bayes retired in June of this year from the professional game and joined Aldershot Town as a goalkeeping coach but the lure of playing led Bayes to Basingstoke Town of the Blue Square South.

Bayes’ last game in an Orient shirt was in March 2002, almost a year to the day that Lee Harrison joined Orient. Harrison made 67 appearances in between 2003 and 2005 and started his coaching badges once he left Brisbane Road. He’s now a UEFA ‘A’ goalkeeping coach is now unemployed after an unsuccesful spell as assistant manager at Newport County in the Blue Square Premier. Newport County was the team supported by Glyn Garner, Orient keeper between 2005 and 2007. After turning down a contract offer by Martin Ling in the Summer of ’07, Garner returned nearer his Welsh home with Shrewsbury Town before spells at Grays Athletic and Newport County. Garner is now playing in the Blue Square Premier with Bath City but hasn’t played since the 11th October 2011 in a 4-3 defeat to Cambridge United.

Harrison played for Hayes & Yeading United in the Blue Square Premier in 2010/11 and there’s another Orient keeper with links to Hayes. These links are fantastic, aren’t they? Paul Hyde was an Orient keeper who had his career cut short by a horrific leg injury. How does Hyde and Hayes have links? Hyde was born in Hayes! As I said, Hyde’s career was curtailed by injury but he played semi-profesionally for Dover Athletic. In 2010, Hyde played in the Kent County League for Canterbury City, however, after an internet search, I couldn’t find Hyde’s current whereabouts. Billy Turley was Hyde’s replacement after Hyde’s unfortunate leg break. Turley was signed on loan from Northampton Town and went on to play for Rushden & Diamonds and Oxford United. Turley, like Hyde, has suffered a broken leg, with Turley’s occuring in an innocuous challenge whilst Turley played for Brackley Town against Banbury United in the Southern Premier League in February 2011.

Hyde and Turley played for Orient in the 1997/98 season, the year after two famous names stood between the famous posts at E10. Les Sealey and Peter Shilton played for the O’s in the 1996/97 season. Sealey started that season in goal after plying his trade at Coventry City, Manchester United and Luton Town. Sealey made 14 appearances for the O’s between August and November 1996. Sadly, Sealey passed away in 2001. Shilton, the keeper that Diego Maradona punched the ball past in 1986, made nine apperances for Orient in an attempt at passing the 1,000 game mark. Orient proved to be Shilton’s last club in Football and was last seen wearing fake tan and leotards on Strictly Come Dancing in 2010. Luke Weaver also made appearances at Orient in the 96/97 campaign but sadly, I cannot find any information on his whereabouts these days.

So there, it is. A look back at fifteen years worth of Orient goalkeepers. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and will be back reading again.