Leepaul has been one of the most respected players in the Northern League for more than a decade, and remains as important as ever as Shields’ captain.
He started his career with the likes of Darlington, Blyth Spartans and Whitley Bay before moving to America in 2003, spending three years at Lynn University before playing for Virginia Beach Mariners.
On returning to England in 2007, he settled at South Shields, where he became a real crowd favourite with his box-to-box displays.
Leepaul scored regularly from midfield, and also won praise for his strength in the tackle and his ability to lead the team.
That culminated in the club’s run to the final of the Northern League Cup in 2010, and Leepaul scored in the final against Ashington before Shields won the penalty shoot-out. He also captained them to victory in the JR Cleator Cup final ahead of the following season.
He left Mariners Park in 2011 to join Whitley Bay, and after two years there, he moved on again to Shildon.
At Shildon, he regularly competed for honours, and in his final season of a two-year spell there, they came agonisingly close to winning the treble as they lifted both the League Cup and Durham Challenge Cup but narrowly lost out in the league, finishing second.
When it was announced Shields would be returning to Mariners Park in 2015 following a two-year exile in Peterlee, Leepaul was the first new signing announced.
Many more new faces followed, and Leepaul’s leadership helped to mould them into a team which would go on to win the Northern League Division Two title – his third honour with the club.