It's the dream of every football fan to one day represent the club that they supported as a child. Sadly, the reality is that only a few are able to experience that feeling.
Having learned his trade in his homeland with Molde and Rosenborg, the midfielder moved to England in 1994, bound for London and, more specifically, Wimbledon.
The industrious Leonhardsen would go on to spend the next three years at Selhurst Park, during which time he captured the attention of Liverpool manager Roy Evans, who would part with £3.5m to take him to Anfield 17 years ago today.
Upon his arrival on Merseyside, the Norwegian international said: "I supported Liverpool as a kid. We saw English matches on Norwegian TV every week and Liverpool were always on because they were the best. My heroes were Kevin Keegan and later Kenny Dalglish and I had Liverpool posters on my bedroom wall."
Leonhardsen was a regular fixture in the starting lineup throughout his first season with the club, but he soon fell out of favour when Gerard Houllier took sole charge of the first team from Evans in 1998.
It meant that in the summer of 1999 and after 49 appearances, in which he had scored seven goals, Leonhardsen was on the move again. Reports claimed that Sheffield Wednesday were extremely interested in his services, but the boyhood Liverpool fan eventually opted for a switch back to the capital with Tottenham Hotspur.
Stints with Aston Villa, Lyn Oslo and Stromsgodset then followed, before he brought an end to his playing career in 2007 having also turned out for his Scandinavian country on 86 occasions.