Notts County owner Alan Hardy slams door shut on re-signing Barcelona beating defender Kelvin Wilson

Video: Kelvin Wilson speaking on Team Talk about playing Barcelona

Notts County owner Alan Hardy has confirmed the club will not try to sign the Barcelona beating defender Kelvin Wilson after trying to sign him in January.

31-year-old centre back Kelvin Wilson had played for Notts from 2003 to 2006 and made 78 appearances scoring three goals before being loaned out and then signed on a permanent deal at Preston North End.

Shortly after, he then signed for Nottingham Forest and made 123 appearances between 2007 and 2011 before then signing for Celtic.

He was part of the Bhoys team which famously beat Barcelona 2-1 in the Champions League in 2012 with just 11 per cent possession.

At the end of the 2012/13 season, he re-signed for the Reds and made 46 appearances before joining Rotherham in 2016. 

He made eight appearances this season but is now a free agent.

Appearing on Team Talk on Wednesday, Kelvin said he would love to play for the Magpies again.

However Alan Hardy said on Twitter shortly after that the ‘door is closed’ on Notts bringing the defender back to Meadow Lane.

He spoke to Iain Chambers and Charlie McParland about his career.


“I was only on the bench for my debut when we lost 4-0 to Hartlepool because there wasn’t enough players.

I came on as a right wing back or right back but had a massive buzz when I got onto the pitch because as a young lad, that’s what you want to do – get your name on the back of the shirt.

It was brilliant just to get that and then I played the last game of the season at the old ground with a running track around it and we lost 1-0 and I scored an own goal.

I was named player’s player of the year in my first full season but I’m quiet off the pitch and was even quieter back then.

My manager always told me I was quick to learn so when the gaffer told me something as a young lad, I would stay and do an extra 45 minutes practising with the coaches.

I’ve always said I’d like to go back to Notts and they’ve given me the chance to have a career and I want to go back and try and help achieve something now with them.

kelvin,wilson
Kelvin Wilson speaking on Team Talk

It was a massive move when I went from Preston to Nottingham Forest – I went to Preston under Billy Davies.

I was supposed to sign for Leeds United and as I’d just gone and done personal terms with Dennis Wise and Gus Poyet and I was supposed to start on the Monday, this was a Friday.

I got a phone call from Forest who said we’ll match the offer and personal terms and I then said yes straight away, they were my preferred choice.

So I went away and Wise wasn’t happy but I signed the deal with Forest and it was brilliant, I really enjoyed it.

It was different playing for Forest being from Nottingham because Forest was always the Premier League club growing up.

So playing for them for me was like, this is good.

At the time, promotion back to the Championship from league 1 was a big accomplishment and I think the Reds needed it.

They signed seven of us including Chris Cohen and Neil Lennon came in for six months but I think I was a statement to say we need to get back in the Championship and we did.

kelvin,wilson,celtic,wikipedia,notts,county,nottingham,forest,ncfc,nffc
Kelvin Wilson in action for Celtic (Picture by Wikipedia user Memorino, cc-by-sa-3.0)

I was negotiating to stay at Forest before I joined Celtic but it didn’t materialise and I got a phone call from the Bhoys – there were a few clubs interested down south but one then came from the Glasgow club.

At the start, I wasn’t sure but they said come and have a look around so I went up to the training ground and it was amazing.

Lennon signed me after playing with him at Forest and we got on, we had arguments on the pitch but we got on and I think he took to me a little bit as a player because he would always say, you’ll be a right player.

There was a semi-final the day after I looked around where Celtic played Rangers at Hampden Park and that completely sold it for me.

It was unbelievable to face Barcelona in the Champion’s League but facing teams from all around Europe was great in both competitions.

The Barca game stands out a mile, both at the Nou Camp and at Celtic Park but winning 2-1 with 11 per cent possession was tiring – physically I was OK but mentally I just wanted to go to bed.

Concentration levels had to be spot on but it has to be playing against players like Lionel Messi.

You never heard the Barcelona players’ voices because they never spoke or shouted for the ball like we do – they just knew where each other were and I thought, that’s why they are where they are.”

For more from Kelvin, watch the June 7 episode of Team Talk on our catch-up service by clicking here.

SHARE