Birthdate: 27 April 1990
Birthplace: Whiston, Liverpool, England
Other clubs: Huddersfield Town (loan 2009)
Bought from: Local
Signed for LFC: Joined 1997
International debut: 26.05.2012 vs. Norway
International caps: 1/0
Liverpool debut: 09.12.2008
Last appearance: 02.02.2014
Debut goal: 29.11.2011
Last goal: 29.11.2011
Contract expiry: 30.06.2014 (signed 03.12.2010)
Win ratio: 56.45% W: 35 D: 14 L: 13
Honours: League Cup 2012
LFC league games/goals: 33 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 62 / 1
eightl boy Kelly has successfully come through Liverpool's Academy which hasn't produced too many starlets in the last decade. He was only seven-years-old when he caught the eye of the Liverpool scouts. Kelly started out as a central midfielder, but he is essentially a centre-half, tall and elegant on the field of play, who has made most of his first-team appearances as right-back. He missed almost two years of his development due to a back problem but graduated to Melwood in the summer of 2007 and was a part of Gary Ablett's reserve team that won the League in the 2007/08 season. Rafa included him in the group of Liverpool players listed for the Champions League and he made his debut when he came on for Jamie Carragher in the eighty-second minute against PSV Eindhoven on 9 December 2008. He was loaned out to Huddersfield Town in League One from March until the end of the 2008/09 season and made seven League appearances for the Yorkshire club.
Kelly finally made his full Liverpool debut against Lyon at Anfield in a group stage game in the 2009/10 Champions League season. He turned in a man-of-the-match performance, delivering quality crosses and showing undoubted skills. He might have had a good run in the side but he injured his groin in the game and was sidelined for four months. Kelly made two more substitute appearances before getting injured again and not featuring for the rest of the season. Kelly could probably be satisfied with his contribution in the 2010/11 season. After making just three appearances in 2009/10, to increase that to 23 a year later was good progress. Kenny Dalglish was confident enough in Kelly's ability to start him in the daunting FA Cup-tie at Old Trafford on 9 January 2011; and he started him in the next seven Premier League matches too. Kelly's final appearance of the season came in a miserable 3-1 defeat at Upton Park on 27 February when he was forced off shortly before the interval after injuring his left hamstring. It was a nasty injury that kept him out for the remainder of the campaign. Kelly continued to make good progress in 2011/12, was a regular in matchday squads and scored his first senior goal with a header in the League Cup-tie at Chelsea at the end of November. He earned his first senior cap in an England friendly against Norway in Oslo that was part of the build-up to Euro 2012. When Chelsea's Gary Cahill was ruled out of Euro 2012 a week later, Kelly replaced him in England's squad. Kelly's bad luck with injuries continued in 2012/13 when he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament against Manchester United on 23 September. A couple of weeks earlier he told the Guardian he was back to his best. "I've played three games in eight days recently; for me that's a fantastic achievement, because in the past I've struggled and been unlucky with injuries. I feel like I've settled in to my body now. I'm feeling good and raring to push on." Hopefully Kelly will enjoy better luck in the future as Liverpool Academy can be very proud of their graduate.
Kelly signed a new contract with Liverpool on 8 February 2013, despite knowing that his season was already over after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament against Manchester United at Anfield in September. His recovery seems to have gone well and the young defender will be keen to put 2012/13 behind him as he looks to re-establish himself in the first-team picture and return to the fine form he showed during both 2010/11 and 2011/12.
Even with competition for places so intense, Kelly was probably disappointed to only play in Liverpool's first team eight times during the 2013/14 season. He only started two matches, the FA cup-ties against Oldham and Bournemouth in January. Martin celebrated his 24th birthday shortly before the end of the season but players of any age know how hard it is to recover from a really serious injury. He was included in the squad that played a post-season friendly match against Shamrock Rovers in Dublin three days after the end of the Premier League season. That he played the whole match and scored a fine goal was extremely good news for both the player and his manager because Brendan Rodgers now knew that the young defender could definitely be a part of his plans for the 2014/15 season.