Keeper coach Kelly leaves PNE

Alan Kelly
Alan Kelly

Preston North End have announced that goalkeeper coach Alan Kelly has left Deepdale.

The 48-year-old had been North End's full-time keeper coach since April 2013 but his association with the club goes back all of his life.

His dad Alan was a PNE stalwart, making 513 appearances in the PNE goalkeeper's jersey in a 14-year stay and was later manager and assistant manager - the Town End at Deepdale is named in his honour.

Kelly started his playing career with North End, making his debut in the re-election season of 1985/86.

He made 142 appearances for his home-town club before being sold to Sheffield United in 1992.

In late 2011 and early 2012, Kelly had a brief stint as Preston's goalkeeper coach having been working at the club's academy.

Alan Kelly oversees the warm-up before PNE's game at Accrington on Tuesday night

Alan Kelly oversees the warm-up before PNE's game at Accrington on Tuesday night

He became a full-time coach shortly after Simon Grayson's arrival in 2013.

North End announced Kelly's exit in a short statement on their website on Thursday morning.

The statement read: "After a lifetime of association with Preston North End Football Club, both through his father and also Alan's own playing and coaching career, it is with disappointment, but also grateful thanks for his service that we announce that Alan Kelly has decided that his time as a member of the coaching staff at Preston North End has come to an end.

"This decision is solely Alan's and he will leave with our thanks and best wishes for the future.

Alan Kelly and PNE goalkeeper Chris Maxwell

Alan Kelly and PNE goalkeeper Chris Maxwell

"Alan, his wife Sara and family will always be welcome guests here at Deepdale."

Kelly had been with the North End squad for their 3-2 defeat at Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night and worked with the keepers at Springfields on Wednesday.

It is understood that academy goalkeeper coach Jack Cudworth will fill Kelly's role for the time being.

After news of his departure went into the public domain, Kelly tweeted: "I return to the stands as a life long fan & wish our great club every success in the future.

"Thanks to all @pnefc #ProudPreston."