7 January 2010

"Tim" Kelly

Name: Thomas Kelly
Born: 14 September 1907, Belfast
Died: May 1975, Luton
Height: 5.08 ft
Weight: 10.07 st
Position: Inside-Right

Representative Honours: Ireland: 2 Amateur Caps (1929).

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
RAF Halton
-
-24
Amateur
-
RAF Henlow
-
-27
Amateur
(South Midlands League)
Fulham
30/31
Dec-29
Amateur
1/0
-
1(0)/0
Vauxhall Motors
Aug-32
-
-
-
-
TOTALS
-
£-
1/0
-
-

Biography:
Tim Kelly commenced his footballing career while serving in the RAF. He represented the RAF against the Civil Service and the Navy before gaining two Ireland Amateur caps in 1929. Shortly after his second amateur international appearance Kelly signed with Fulham, turning professional in July 1930. He made a single firstteam outing at Craven Cottage, in a 2-0 defeat at Walsall in February 1931.

As a worker at the Vauxhall car plant, Kelly played and later managed the works team. During the 1930s they won the South Midland League three times. He joined Luton Town as a part-time coach in 1952 before rising to the position of full-time assistant manager. He left Kenilworth Road in April 1955 to manage Bedford Town, just weeks before Luton's promotion to Division One.
Bedford Eagles

After twice finishing Southern League runners-up under Kelly's leadership, Bedford took the title in 1959. They also enjoyed notable FA Cup success as in 1955/56 they defeated League side Watford before taking Arsenal to a replay in which they lost 2-1 after extra-time and the following season they defeated Norwich.

Between 1959 and 1962 Kelly had an unhappy spell in charge of Hastings United which saw relegation to the Southern League First Division in 1961 and a rock bottom finish the following year. In December 1963 he returned to Bedford as caretaker manager, leading them to another famous FA Cup triumph over Newcastle United and cementing his place as the club's most successful manager.

Kelly gained national fame for leaving out titbits for leprechauns to bring his team luck. His son, Terry later played for Luton Town and Cambridge United.

Bedford Town Manager Profiles

Ireland Amateur Cap Details:
12-10-1929 Scotland H L 0-3
16-11-1929 England. A L 2-7 1 Goal

Summary: 2/1. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 1.
Details courtesy of Jim Murphy and David Williams (Bedford Town researcher).

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