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United Face Celtic In Kelly's Charity Testimonial

313 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  leeds_utd_lad
by Chris Bargh

LEEDS defender Gary Kelly will donate all proceeds of his testimonial match against Scottish Champions Celtic to charity as United confirmed today that the game against the Bhoys will go ahead at Elland Road on 7th May.
Kelly is in his tenth season at Elland Road after bursting into the Leeds first team as an 18 year old in October 1991.

The 27 year old Republic of Ireland international has made well over 300 appearances for United and is now rewarded for his loyalty by this testimonial game against Celtic.

In a grand gesture Gary Kelly has decided to donate all the proceeds to cancer charities in memory of his sister Mandy who died four years ago at the age or 35.

Announcing details of the game Leeds Chairman Peter Ridsdale said: "Gary is an outstanding footballer who has played for Leeds for over ten years and is also an established Irish international.

"Football consistently gets a lot of bad press but this is a good news story and I'm delighted to announce that as part of Gary's testimonial we can announce this match against Glasgow Celtic."

The night promises to be a special night at Elland Road and this testimonial is a fitting tribute to a player who has remained loyal to his club for over a decade.

Gary Kelly paid special tribute to Leeds United and also to fellow Republic of Ireland international, Niall Quinn, who is also donating the proceeds from his testimonial to charity next month.

Kells said: "It was always in my mind to stay at Leeds as long as I could and the club have been brilliant in granting me this testimonial.

"As a lot of people know I lost my sister to cancer a few years ago and this is a nice tribute to her and a small way of hopefully finding a way to find a cure for the disease

"I'd also like to thank Niall for his support and advice, he's been brilliant. I must also thank the manager of Celtic, Martin O'Neill.

"It's great that the game is against Celtic who I supported as a boy and I just hope that the fans of Leeds and Celtic come along and support us on the night."

The two charities to benefit from the evening will be the Drogheda Cancer Support Centre in Ireland and the Teenage Cancer Support in Leeds.

The game will kick-off at 7.45pm and ticket information will be released soon.

To hear the full press conference featuring Gary Kelly and Peter Ridsdale click the audio play button.

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This is great to hear. Gary Kelly has been a part of Leeds FC and the Rep. Ireland for such a long time and he is a great player. He is such a part of Leeds and I want him to retire from here. This match is a great idea and the fact that the profits are going to charity show what a great bloke he is and how devoted he is to him club and his community. Good on ya Kell's!!! Ur a champion!!!

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Here is some info on the legend... :)

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Gary Kelly

Up until the return of David Batty to Elland Road, Gary Kelly had made more appearances for Leeds than any other member of the current squad.

Having overcome an ongoing shin splints problem which ruled him out for the whole of the 1998/99 campaign, Gary forced his way back into the Leeds first team,and silenced any critics by once again making the right back role his own, despite the signing of Danny Mills in the summer of 1999.

Started the 2000/2001 season as first choice but an injury around December and the superb form of Mills forced him to sit on the bench for the remainder of the campaign.

It was in season 1993/94 that Gary, the youngest of a family of thirteen, burst on to the scene after Howard Wilkinson tried him out as a right back. Remarkably, by the end of his first season, he was a member of Jack Charlton's Republic of Ireland side that went to the U.S.A for the 1994 World Cup Finals.

For two seasons, the flying fullback was an ever present in the Leeds team, and established himself as an Eire regular under Big Jack.

Arguably there was too much football, at too young an age, for the lad who'd become a regular at only 18, and it was possibly only in the latter part of the 97/98 season, after a switch to right midfield that Kelly regained the zest that had marked him out as such a prospect five years before.

George Graham, recognising the new maturity and leadership the Irishman was displaying, and with David Hopkin out of the side, installed Kelly as skipper, at the age of 23.

Then came the nightmare season through injury, but Kells battled back superbly, fighting his way back into the first team, taking over as skipper when Lucas Radebe was on international duty and he was rewarded with a new five year contract, that should mean he sees out the rest of his career at Elland Road.

He now has a real chance of surpassing Jack Charlton's all-time record number of 773 appearances in the Leeds shirt.


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Congratulations Gary!!! He definitely deserves it, even if Mills is a bit better as RB.
Three Leeds vs Celtic matches made me a Bhoys admirer for life. One was the greatest club matches ever played in Britain with over 140,000 fans watching in Glasgow, not to mention the brilliant first leg in Leeds when Jimmy Johnstone ran rings round us. I'm talking about the 1970 European Cup Semi Final, by the way.
Then in the mid-seventies, the Billy Bremner testimonial was played between the two clubs. It was a brilliant match which Celtic won 3-4. At that time, all matches were taken seriously with heavy tackling and so on.
Celtic fans seemed to take over half of Elland Road and mixed freely with Leeds fans on the Gelderd End at a time when it was a no go area for away fans. At the end, they invaded the pitch and threw all their fan paraphanelia (scarves, caps, etc.) into the stands for young kids to get.
It was truly amazing. I hope Gary's testimonial is similar because he deserves it.
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He sure does. I just wish I had the chance to see it myself... It would be a great match to see...:)
This is going to be a wicked match. We are playing a match against the Celtic supporters before the actual match at Elland Road. I can't wait.

I'm well pleased that this match is on a tuesday as this is the only weekday that i don't have any classes to goto.


It's going to be fun to stuff those jock bastards.
Don't rub it in!!! I want to be there!!!:sigh: :frownani: :cry: :sob:

It is very annoying when people who live in Leeds on this board say, "what a great match this'll be, quite a cracker. Can't wait to be there" :fero:
I know! Especially Matt and Elland Roader who live right there!!!
Matt-"So dad, do you think they'll have those new crisps at The Road today?"
Elland Roader-"No, not yet son"
Matt-"Well that is okay. I'll just have the usual chips instead. Do you mind if I go over to Harry's house after the game?"
Elland Roader - "Righto, but be back before dinner because Dave is coming to chat to us about Leeds' summer transfers."
Matt-"Wicked! Is it alright if Harry and Rio come over for dinner than instead?"
Elland Roader - "Okay, it is fine with me but you'd better tell your mum to cook extra."
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