John Kelly (footballer, born 1960)

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John Kelly
Personal information
Full name John Kelly
Date of birth (1960-10-20) 20 October 1960 (age 56)
Place of birth Bebington, England
Height 5 ft 9.5 in (1.77 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1979 Cammell Laird
1979–1981 Tranmere Rovers 64 (9)
1981–1985 Preston North End 130 (27)
1985–1987 Chester City 85 (17)
1987 Swindon Town 7 (1)
1987–1989 Oldham Athletic 52 (6)
1989–1991 Walsall 39 (1)
1989 Huddersfield Town (loan) 10 (1)
1990–1992 Huddersfield Town 18 (0)
1992–1993 Chester City 31 (1)
1993–1994 Rhyl
1994–1995 Rhyl
National team
1982–1983 Republic of Ireland U21 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John Kelly (born October 20, 1960 in Bebington, Cheshire) is a former professional footballer who played in the Football League as a midfielder for Tranmere Rovers, Preston North End, Chester City, Swindon Town, Oldham Athletic, Walsall & Huddersfield Town.

The son of former Tranmere Rovers manager Noel Kelly, John established himself as a stylish midfielder in the lower divisions after joining Tranmere from neighbours Cammell Laird in September 1979. In 1985–86 he struck up a successful partnership with fellow new signing Milton Graham at Chester City, with Kelly scoring eight times as Chester were promoted from Division Four. A year later he moved up to the second tier with Swindon Town for £20,000, although he struggled to establish himself with the Wiltshire club and soon moved on to Oldham Athletic.

After spells with Walsall and Huddersfield Town, Kelly returned to Chester in the summer of 1992. Unfortunately, the 1992–93 season brought relegation to Division Three and Kelly was released at the end of the campaign. This marked the end of his professional career and he went part-time by joining Welsh side Rhyl.

Kelly made two appearances for the Republic of Ireland Under 21's, a nation he was eligible to represent as his father was born in Ireland.


Chester City


  • John Kelly, Post War English & Scottish Football League A - Z Player's Transfer Database