Paddy Kenny’s number up at Leeds over owner’s dislike of his birth date

Massimo Cellino so suspicious of number 17 goalkeeper has been left out of tour

Leeds goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has fallen foul of new owner Massimo Cellino’s superstitions. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images.

Leeds goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has fallen foul of new owner Massimo Cellino’s superstitions. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images.

 

The increasingly bizarre world of Leeds United has taken another turn for the strange after it emerged that Massimo Cellino, their maverick new owner, has such a dislike of the number 17 it has turned him against one of the club’s key players who was born on that date.

Cellino is so suspicious of the number 17 that he had the seats at his former club, Cagliari, taken out and replaced with 16B. Now he has instructed the new Leeds head coach, Dave Hockaday, not to select former republic of Ireland international Paddy Kenny after discovering that the goalkeeper’s birthday is on May 17th and concluding that he is bad luck for the Championship club.

Kenny, the second-highest earner at Leeds on £10,000 a week, has been left at home while the other players embark on a pre-season trip to Italy and he will not play for the club again.

Cellino, who also has a fear of purple, has separate issues about Kenny allegedly being overweight but is said to have reacted emotionally when he found out the 36-year-old goalkeeper had a connection with the number 17.

The Italian’s superstition about that number is so strong he has told Hockaday it must not form part of the squad list next season. Michael Brown previously wore 17 for Leeds but was released at the end of the season.

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