After climbing to the top of the Conference, Boro’ looked to add even more strength to the side with the signing of Ryan Kirby. A former Arsenal trainee, he arrived at Broadhall Way during the 1996-7 season and immediately looked at home. In his time at Boro’, Kirby was a consistent full back – but often filled in if needed elsewhere on the pitch. It was, perhaps, this versatility that ensured his five years with the club were a massive success – even if it didn’t show in the honours we failed to win during that time.
Ryan Kirby: Before Boro’
Kirby might have started out at Arsenal, but the path to the first team was blocked off. So, in 1994, he left Highbury and moved to Doncaster Rovers. It was here the defender made a name for himself, turning out a number of times during a two-year spell at Belle Vue. In 1996, however, Preston North End came calling. In hindsight, this may not have been the best move as first team football didn’t come freely.
He spent time at Crewe Alexandra and Wigan Athletic in 1996 too, as well as securing a switch to Northampton Town. But opportunities were lacking at these three clubs too. So, he made the move down the road from Sixfields to make us his sixth club of 1996. But it would be a lot longer before he was on the move again.
Ryan Kirby: After Boro’
In March 2001, Boro’ agreed to release Kirby from his contract early so that he could find a new club. By that point, Paul Fairclough had left and come back as manager either side of Richard Hill‘s time in charge. As Cloughie looked to take Boro’ in a new direction, it was time for Kirby to do so too. He signed for Aldershot Town after leaving, before featuring for a number of other clubs. The most notable was Harlow Town, where he had three spells; one as player manager and the last one coming to an end in 2012.