Ossett Town FC coach Steve Kelly was a hero - ‘the best we’ve ever seen’

Steve Kelly
Steve Kelly
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Tributes have been pouring in for a devoted football coach whose death shocked the city last week.

Steve Kelly, who was most recently the under-19s academy coach at Ossett Town FC and had worked at Huddersfield Town, was found dead at his home in Fitzwilliam, aged 43.

He was widely admired for his coaching techniques, which helped children across the area to improve.

People have beenencouraged to wear football shirts to his funeral on Monday.

Former Huddersfield Town defender Andy Holdsworth, who started a football coaching business with Mr Kelly, said parents would ask if they could take him home.

He added: “They’d say their child only listened to Steve.

“The guy was a big part of my life over the last 15 years. I’ve lost a friend, business partner and hero. I know he’ll be looking down going mad at the fuss being made about him, but he deserves it. The children have lost their hero, who they admired so much.”

Former bosses at Huddersfield’s academy Brian Young and Gerry Murphy said Mr Kelly had an incredible eye for talent, both at junior level and in the professional game.

And Gerald Foster, who also worked with Mr Kelly at Huddersfield as a scout, said: “He was the best scout and coach I have ever worked with. He was kind, honest, considerate and always smiling.”

Earl Holdsworth and Alex MacMillan, who worked at the club’s Hemsworth development centre, said young lads would queue up to shake his hand after each session.

They added: “Steve had a gift for putting people at ease.

“He was constantly making us laugh. If, for instance, a lad tripped over Steve would book him for diving. Or he’d offer a tin of biscuits as a prize, which was just an empty tin because he’d eaten the biscuits.”

Darren Hoyland, manager at Wakefield Football Centre, said: “He’d say one word and the children would act. I’d never seen anything like it, he was the best coach I’d ever known.”

Mr Kelly’s brother Kevin said the family had been overwhelmed by people’s support. He said funeral dress code was up to the individual but football colours were encouraged.