I was a surprise Man Utd signing from League Two under Van Gaal before becoming a roofer and playing in the 9th tier
FORMER Manchester United star Andy Kellett worked as a roofer and now plays in the ninth tier of English football.
The left-back was surprisingly signed by Louis van Gaal’s side in 2015 on loan from Championship side Bolton immediately after ending his stay at League Two outfit Plymouth Argyle.
He made a shock deadline day move to Old Trafford in the January transfer window and the then 21-year-old joined up with the club’s academy in a deal that saw Saidy Janko head the other way.
Kellett could not believe that Man Utd wanted him and was “taken aback” by their interest, admitting it was “a hell of a jump” from League Two to mingling with some of the world’s best players.
People believed there must’ve been a mistake and it was Sheffield United who were keen, but it was definitely the Red Devils.
Even his manager at Bolton, Neil Lennon, found the attempts to sign him unexpected.
Kellett spent the second half of the 2014/15 season at Man Utd, playing ten times for their Under-21 side.
On his first day in training under Van Gaal’s watch he got embarrassed by Angel Di Maria.
Kellett told The Athletic: “I was surrounded by all these unbelievably brilliant players.
“I was new and Di Maria introduced himself by nutmegging me.
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“All the lads were laughing. I was, too. I was glad he did it because it broke the ice.
“After that, I never felt out of place there.”
In youth-team matches he played alongside the likes of Jonny Evans, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao, who all featured as overage players to build fitness.
Kellett was a popular figure and had team-mates such as Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira joking they would pay to make his loan move permanent.
But he wasn’t kept by United and he moved to Wigan before falling down the football pyramid with Chesterfield, Notts County, Fylde, Alfreton Town and Guiseley.
Knowing his career was heading in the wrong direction as he dropped to a semi-professional standard as a result of injuries, he decided to start earning a living as a roofer.
Kellett is now a controller in BT’s Manchester office.
The 29-year-old is currently playing in the North West Counties League Premier Division with Bury.
It is the phoenix club’s first season back since they were booted out of the football league in 2019 due to financial issues.
In their first game of the campaign 5,500 fans attended.
Reflecting on his time at United, Kellett said: “The only thing I would change is that I wish I had put myself out there a bit more.
“I wish I’d had a bit more bottle to speak to the manager or ask the first-team players about their experiences.
“That’s the only thing I would change because, football-wise, I gave everything.
“I trained 100 per cent every day, I looked after myself and every time I put on that shirt, I know I played really well.”
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