Ever wondered what would happen in a professional footballer tried his luck at figure skating? Wonder no more: Kevin Kilbane, former premier league player, is competing on Dancing on Ice 2020!
The 42-year-old is one of 12 celebs to glide/tumble onto the rink under the watchful eyes of judges Ashley Banjo, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean and newcomer John Barrowman.
But who exactly is Kevin Kilbane? Here’s everything you need to know about the ex-Sunderland player…
Kevin Kilbane – Key Facts
Famous for: A footballing career spanning from 1995 to 2012
Professional partner: Brianne Delcourt
Who is Kevin Kilbane? What was his football career like?
Kevin Kilbane was born and raised in Preston, Lancashire and kick started his football career at the local club, Preston North End, in 1995.
After establishing himself as a valuable player, he was sold to West Bromwich Albion two years later for £1 million, the club’s most expensive signing ever at the time.
He scored 15 goals across 106 appearances for Albion, before another big move to Sunderland for £2.5 million in 1999.
Despite a solid start at the club, he became a controversial figure among Sunderland fans as their league performance worsened over the following years, culminating with their relegation from the Premier League in 2003.
At that point, Kilbane moved yet again to Everton where he played for three years and fared generally better, although his final game for the club in 2006 was tainted after he was sent off for two bookable offences.
He entered into a three-year deal at Wigan Athletic shortly after, making 76 appearances for the club and scoring two goals.
Another transfer to Hull City in 2009 saw him loaned out for stints at Huddersfield Town and Derby County, where he sustained a back injury.
He retired from football in 2012, only five months after signing into a one-year contract with Coventry City.
Alongside his work in league football, Kilbane also had a formidable international career. Although he was born in England, his parents are both Irish and this allowed him to play for the Republic of Ireland’s national team, winning 110 caps in total.
What did Kevin Kilbane do after retiring from football?
Towards the end of his football career, Kilbane began studying Professional Sports Writing and Broadcasting at Staffordshire University, with the plan to begin working in the media after retiring from sport.
In recent years, he has been a pundit and analyst for RTÉ’s coverage of the UEFA Champions League, BBC One’s Match of the Day 2, as well as commentating for the BBC at 2014’s World Cup in Brazil.
What did Kevin say about joining Dancing On Ice 2020?
Speaking on Talksport Radio, Kilbane said: “I am going on as a total novice. I’m starting from scratch here. This is going to be a massive challenge for me. I’ve been taking it easy for the last few years since I finished (football) so let’s just see how this one goes.”
Dancing on Ice continues Sundays on ITV