On April 22, 2014, Kellett became the first Boltonian to make his debut for the club in six years – the previous example being goalkeeper-cum-striker Sam Ashton, who was memorably thrown on as a substitute by Sam Allardyce in an FA Cup game against Watford.
He played just a handful of games for his hometown club, making a solitary start against Rotherham, and had a successful spell on loan at Plymouth. But he is perhaps best known for his surprise move to Manchester United – a deal completed on winter deadline day 2015 – which raised eyebrows around the football fraternity.
Now 26, Kellett’s career has seen him play for Wigan Athletic, Chesterfield, Notts County, Fylde and since the start of this month, Alfreton Town.
Speaking to nonleaguedaily.com, the left-back discussed his move to Old Trafford and whether his path would have run differently had he remained in the lower leagues.
“At the time it was an unbelievable feeling for me, but then people would say, off the cuff sort of, ‘how’ve you nicked that move?’ and stuff like that, and that makes you feel worse about the situation than it was,” he explained.
“When they asked me to go there, I couldn’t really believe it at the time, but I’d had history with Warren Joyce and he’d always liked me as a player. So when they came forward and it was Warren who was pushing that, I kind of understood it a lot more.
“It was a complete transformation, because the six months before that, I was on loan at Plymouth and we were training on a park, you would have to take your own breakfast/dinner in. That might seem like nothing, but when you go to Man United a couple of months after, and you get literally everything for you, you’re working normal nine to five hours because it’s so professional in terms of training, gym, food, video analysis, stuff like that.
“It’s like a full-time job. It was very good, and it’s something that I’ll probably always look back on.
“Whether that’s hindered my career or not, because at the time we were pushing for play-offs with Plymouth. Maybe if I’d have stayed in that, my career might have gone a different way, but obviously signing for United, I couldn’t imagine that bringing anything negative to my career.”
The United team that won the league championship that season included the likes of Adnan Januzaj, Andreas Pereira and Ashley Fletcher.
And Kellett recalls the step up in class in training, with sessions often including first team players on their way back from injury.
“In my first training session, I got megged by (Ángel) Di María, and everyone was just running around screaming,” he said. “As embarrassing as that was for me, it made me feel less anxious about the situation.”