Kelly, Hugh

Birth Date

17th August 1919





Biographical Text

A Northern Ireland international goalkeeper and one-time Belfast Celtic player, Hugh Kelly played for Exeter City between 1952 and 1956. He joined the club from Southampton and later played for Weymouth. He also appeared for Fulham. 

A Northern Irish international who won four caps for his country. Kelly was 29-years-old before he joined a Football League club when he moved from Belfast Celtic, having earlier played for Glenavon, to Fulham in March 1949.  He made 25 league outings for the Cottagers before signing for Southampton in August 1950 where he featured 28 times in the league ahead of signing for Exeter City in June 1952.

He became a firm favourite with Grecians’ fans making his debut against Queens Park Rangers on the opening day of the 1952-53 season. A consistent performer throughout this three-season stay at St James’ Park he briefly attracted the renewed attention of Fulham in May 1954 but remained at Exeter until the end of 1955-56. 

Kelly, who had married an Exeter girl, signed for Weymouth in July 1956. but it was an unhappy stay as he drew criticism from a section of the club's support. Returning soon afterwards to his home city to start a business Hugh Kelly died in Belfast in 1977.





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