CURRY house brawls, Premier League scalps and close shaves. Ex-Sheffield United and Leeds United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny accomplished it all in almost 700 career appearances.

What many people may not know though is his 20-year career began at Bradford (Park Avenue). In his latest autobiography 'The Gloves Are Off', Kenny recounts his Horsfall experience.

Players usually come through academies before reaching the big time, but not Kenny. Rejection from hometown club Halifax Town meant a different route was needed.

Hungover centre halves and smoking on the sideline was the scene at his dad's Sunday League team, Pellon Social Club. As a 15-year-old, it was certainly an education.

Spells at Stump Cross and West Riding League side Ovenden led to a trial at Avenue in 1997. Then-assistant Bobby Barr invited the 18-year-old for a taste of semi-professional football.

Playing for Pellon had to stop and a seven-to-five job as a toolmaker at Dixons coincided with training and playing for Trevor Storton's team.

Four games in, Kenny was handed his maiden football contract.

He said: "I was earning about £50-a-game before, but the contract meant I got paid every week, whether I played or not.

"They clearly saw something in those few games that they liked because the decision wasn’t for my benefit!

"They were quite open about it – now I had a contract, they would get some money if someone else wanted to sign me. As far as I could see, it was a win-win scenario."

£150 a week from Dixons and the same amount for the work he did on the pitch, Kenny was loving life, but things were about to get even better!

The Irish international credits former Liverpool UEFA Cup winner Staunton's guidance as he ripped it up in the Northern Premier League Division One to earn plenty of interest.

"I was 18 and playing well, but technically, I wasn’t good at all," he added.

"What I did have was a knack of making saves and keeping the ball out of the net, which is pretty handy for a goalkeeper."

Avenue finished in a steady ninth place that season and Kenny had a decision to make come the end of it. Birmingham City or Bury?

With Barr and Storton offering their advice, Kenny selected a trip across to Gigg Lane which meant linking up with someone who would play a vital role throughout his career.

He said: "Legend has it that their manager came to watch an opposition striker and was impresses by the tubby lad in goal for Avenue. He says he actually received a tip-off about me from an old pal.

"Either way I had a s**t-hot game in front of a certain Neil Warnock and my life was about to change forever as a result."

Warnock gave his take to The Independent in 2011: “I watch him on a filthy night, and he was out of condition, a porky young lad, but I just liked the look of him.

"And when we met I liked the way he was, he was a likeable rouge."

The pair shared dressing rooms on four further occasions as they enjoyed success at Sheffield United, Queens Park Rangers and Rotherham United.

Kenny gained his league break after Bury had tumbled into Division Two. Two weeks in, number one Dean Kiely was called up to international duty. An immediate debut for the Halifax lad?

Warnock decided against that idea and brought in Liverpool legend Bruce Grobbelaar to cover. Kenny was shipped out to NPL Premier team Whitby Town.

The season after he would replace the departing Kiely, and the rest as they say is history!

The Gloves Are Off by Paddy Kenny and Danny Hall, published by Vertical Editions, is available to purchase online.