Castletown, Sunderland born right winger Gerry Kelly began his football career with Castletown in 1925 and played for Hylton Colliery in 1926 before joining hometown First Division club Sunderland in November 1927, spending 1927-28 on their books without making a first team appearance. Joining Third Division (North) club Nelson in June 1928, he made his Football League debut at Hartlepools United that August and was rarely out of the side until he was sold to First Division Huddersfield Town in October 1929 having scored 15 goals in 47 appearances for The Admirals.
Kelly never fully established himself at Leeds Road, despite a hat-trick in a 6-0 win at Manchester United in September 1930 and a regular knack of getting goals, and by the time he joined Charlton Athletic in March 1932 he had scored 15 goals in 38 appearances for The Terriers. He didn’t stay long at The Valley, however, joining Chester in December the same year after 6 goals in 20 appearances. He was part of Chester’s team that narrowly missed out on promotion two seasons running, finishing third in 1934-35 and runners up in 1935-36, and joined Port Vale in June 1936 having scored 30 goals in 80 appearances for The Seals.
He then joined Third Division North side Port Vale for a “substantial fee” in June 1936. Having scored twice in 21 appearances for Vale, he was given a free transfer from The Old Recreation Ground to Second Division club Southampton in August 1937. He arrived at The Dell to add depth to the Southampton forward line. Although he brought a wealth of experience with him, he spent most of his time in the reserves and in his two years on the south coast, he made only 19 first team appearances, scoring twice. Following the outbreak of the Second World War his professional career ended and he retired from the game.