Ex-Canary Leon McKenzie to retire at the weekend

Former Norwich City striker Leon McKenzie will end his footballing career this weekend.

The 33-year-old, who has suffered a series of injuries and spoke out last week about the depression he suffered that came close to ending his life, will play for Kettering in the Blue Square Premier against Bath City, in front of family and friends.

“Retiring is not just down to the injuries,” said McKenzie, who scored 22 goals in 81 games for the Canaries between 2003 and 2006.

“But when playing the game and scoring goals is taken away from you, it’s a nightmare. So the response to me talking about depression has been overwhelming.

“Especially after the Gary Speed situation, it was something I needed to get out in the open. Other footballers and members of the public have thanked me.

“It’s a big weight off my shoulders and hopefully I’m making a difference by speaking out.”

Poppies boss Mark Stimson said: “He’s had a fantastic career. Hopefully, he’s got one more hat-trick in him, we can give him the match ball and wish him well with his future career.”

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McKenzie added: “I love scoring goals. That will never leave me. I’ll do my best and I’d love to get a goal in my last game. If it’s meant to be, then great.”

• City forward Josh Dawkin has extended his loan deal to Kettering by one month to January 16, 2012.

Dawkin, who made his Canaries debut during the 1-0 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy victory over Gillingham in 2009, has impressed whilst on loan with the Poppies.

The 19-year-old has played 10 times for Mark Stimpson’s side, scoring twice – the equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Ebbsfleet back in October and then a 25-yard strike against Gateshead in the FA Carlsberg Trophy last weekend.