Meet Plug Leon: The 16-year-old fashion guru shopping for football’s biggest stars

Plug Leon

Leon Gissing — A.K.A. Plug Leon — has fast become the first name on many footballers’ speed dial, helping stars get their hands on some of the most sought-after trainers in the world.

‘What were you doing at 16?’ It’s a common question, most frequently asked when you’re with your mates down the pub, watching a fresh-faced teenager lace up his boots before making his Premier League debut.

And while most responses are typically uninspiring, the same can’t be said for 16-year-old Leon Gissing, who’s spent the last three years creating an online fashion empire.

“Like any other kid I wanted to hustle and make a bit of extra money on the side,” he tells GIVEMESPORT. “So I took a small loan from my Dad to buy my first pair of shoes. Bought them, paid him back, made a couple of extra quid, and before I knew it I was flipping two to three pairs of shoes at once.”

Now Leon sources and supplies shoes to some of football’s hottest prospects. “The list is pretty much endless. The likes of Mason Greenwood, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe, Joe Willock, Reece Nelson, Reece James. Clients like Ansu Fati from Barcelona and pretty much someone from every team in the Bundesliga.”

His big break came a few years back, on a trip to Queen’s Club to watch the tennis. After posing for a picture with American tennis star Jack Sock, the pro made a comment about his trainers, and a light bulb went off in Leon’s head. “I can get you a pair, if you want?”

That’s when it really took off and I started handing out my business cards to players when they were coming out of stadiums, out of hotels. And instead of asking for autographs I was telling them about my business.

From there, Leon’s stock skyrocketed — both figuratively and literally. He was soon in contact with some of football’s biggest names, helping to offer fashion advice and track down elusive retro sneakers.

The question many have is how Leon has proved so adept at sourcing products few others can get their hands on. “Well, that’s the golden question, isn’t it?” He smirks.

“In short, I can’t tell you, but in terms of advice I’d give: it’s not about what you know, like anything else, it’s about who you know. It’s about your network and building connections, which I’ve built up since I was standing on the streets, reselling shoes when I was 13 years old.”

Plug Leon

It’s clear to see that Leon’s business is only going one way, with more and more footballers contacting him daily and asking for his help. Nevertheless, he remains humble, noting there is still some way to go before he achieves his ultimate goal.

“I’d love to work with a superstar. Like serious, best in the world. The likes of Mbappé, Ronaldo, Messi, one of these guys. People will laugh, but people laughed a couple of years ago when I said I wanted to be selling to the guys I am now.”

Just like a wildly talented teenager making his Premier League debut, Leon now looks at home sharing a stage with the biggest ballers in the game. Remember the name.

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