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Tribute paid to one of Keighley RLFC’s ‘famous sons’
Tribute has been paid to one of Keighley RLFC's famous son, Allan Kellett who died last month.
David Ingham, chairman of Pennine Amateur Rugby League, said that Allan was signed by Halifax RLFC as a 17-year-old from Ovenden ARLFC.
He made his debut in November 1954 but was unable to command a regular half back position in the first team due to the well established half backs Ken Dean and Stan Kielty.
He was duly snapped up by the fast emerging Oldham club in late 1954 where he established himself as a centre three-quarter playing alongside Great Britain centre Allan Davies.
It was glory days in the mid to late 50s for an Oldham side bedecked with internationals of the calibre of Derek Rocky' Turner, Don Vines, Davies, Sid Little, Charlie Winslade and Bernard Ganley.
During his eight seasons at Oldham he was capped for Yorkshire, won a Lancashire Cup winner's medal, scoring a try and drop goal in defeating St Helens 12-2 in the 1958 final and played 205 games.
Ingham said: "At Oldham, he certainly was part one of the best sides to never make a cup final."
Halifax re-signed Allan in 1963 where he played over 100 games, his last game being in April 1971.
However, in between those years Allan became Keighley RLFC player/coach making his debut in February 1968 and his final appearance in February 1970 playing a total of 60 games, scoring eight tries and kicking three goals. This was to be the first of his three involvements with Keighley RLFC.
After his return stint at Halifax he then became player/coach at Bradford Northern RLFC with 62 appearances until he became coach for Keighley RLFC in January 1973 to May 1975. He returned to Halifax RLFC for one season as coach 1976-77 and then it was back to Keighley for his third involvement with the club as coach from April 1979 to April 1980.
Ingham said: "Allan turned Keighley around. Their fortunes went on an upswing when he was there."
In total, Allan played 452 games and 13 substitutes in his career where he had displayed his outstanding ball-handling skills. Ingham said many ex-players regarded Allan as one of the finest centres of his day and some were of the opinion he should have played at international level such were his rugby league attributes.
He was a notable fast bowler for Northowram CC (Halifax) and a great competitor at any sport he competed at.
Ingham said: "Allan served Keighley RLFC well in the three stints he was involved at the club as both player and/or coach and who will be remembered as a man who spoke his mind and who had a very knowledgeable, deep-rooted sincerity about the game of rugby league."