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Rob Kelly

Playing career

Rob Kelly received his footballing education at a Leicester City side under the control of Jock Wallace in the early 1980s, whilst the club bounced between the old First and Second Divisions.

The Birmingham-born midfielder made his professional debut aged 19 in a home match at Filbert Street against Sunderland in England’s top flight, lining up alongside names such as Gary Lineker and Alan Smith.

A loan move to Tranmere Rovers was sandwiched in between 24 appearances and one goal for the Foxes, before a move closer to home came calling in the form of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Kelly took to the field 16 times in the orange of Wolves, finding the net twice before his playing career was cut devastatingly short by a back injury which forced him into retirement at the age of just 24.

Coaching career

Rob initially trained as a journalist for a local paper before the lure of coaching became too much. Spells in the youth setups of Wolves, Watford, and Blackburn Rovers came prior to senior assistant manager role at Leicester City.

The sacking of Craig Levein left the Foxes’ hot seat vacant, and so Kelly stepped up to the plate initially as a caretaker. 21 points from his first 10 outings as boss steered the side away from the threat of relegation to the third tier, and landed Kelly a Manager of the Month Award in March 2006.

He departed after 14 months and his next move would be in a coaching capacity to Preston North End.

Spells as assistant manager followed at Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest, West Brom, Leeds United, Fleetwood Town, and Bury before Kelly followed Uwe Rosler to Malmo FF and Fortuna Dusseldorf.

A return to home soil came in the form of an assistant role at Barrow, aiding the Bluebirds in maintaining their EFL status before making the step up the pyramid to Wigan Athletic as Leam Richardson’s number two.

A brief spell at Preston followed before linking back up with Richardson at the Millers.

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