The Halifax-born quartet of Premier League stars

Custodian Paddy Kenny in his Sheffield United days. The goalkeeper will be back in the Premier League next season after winning the Championship with QPR
Custodian Paddy Kenny in his Sheffield United days. The goalkeeper will be back in the Premier League next season after winning the Championship with QPR
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FOUR Halifax footballers are among 1,323 English-born players who have played in the Premier League since its formation in 1992.

Fascinating statistics have been unearthed by Cambridge-based internet developers showing which areas of Britain produces the most footballing talent.

The local lads who have graced the top flight are Paddy Kenny, Craig Fleming, Peter Butler and Richard Irving.

Paddy, 32, a goalkeeper, is probably the best known and has just been promoted back to the top flight with Queen’s Park Rangers.

He also has seven international caps for the Republic of Ireland.

He played in the Premiership while at Sheffield Utd where he was from 2002 to 2010.

His previous clubs are Bradford Park Avenue, Bury and Whitby Town.

Paddy has also made the headlines off the pitch. He tested positive for ephedrine, a banned substance believed to have been contained in a cough medicine he bought over the counter but following an FA hearing in September 2009 he was banned from all professional sport for nine months.

Earlier in November 2006 he became involved in a drunken brawl outside a Halifax curry house and ended up having his eyebrow bitten off and required 12 stitches.

Defender Craig Fleming, 39, started his career with his home town club, making 57 appearances for the Shaymen between 1990-91.

He moved on to Oldham Athletic, a stint which included three seasons in the top division and was described by Sir Alex Ferguson as the best man-marker in the country.

His next club was Norwich City where he played 343 league games, which also included top flight appearances. He has also played for Wolves, Rotherham and Kings Lynn.

After retiring he became an ambassador for sport in Norfolk and coach at Lowestoft Town.

Peter Butler, 44, a midfielder, has had a full career taking in Huddersfield 1984-86, then Cambridge, Bury, Southend, West Ham, Notts County, Grimsby Town, West Bromwich Albion and Halifax Town, where he was player and caretaker manager from 1998 to 2000. His last playing club was Sorrento FC in Australia. He has also coached in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia. Last September he was appointed head coach of Thai Premier League team BEC Tero Sasana FC.

Richard Irving, 35, a forward, signed for Manchester Utd as a schoolboy but never played a first team game. He was transferred to Nottingham Forest and made his only Premiership appearance in the 1995-96 season as a substitute against his former club. He left Forest in 1997 for Macclesfield Town. He played nine games there and never played professional football again. He trained as a commercial airline pilot and lives in Cheshire.

London has produced 320 players followed by Liverpool 62, Birmingham 55, and Manchester 42.

County Durham is the country’s footballing hotbed having produced more than nine premiership players per 100,000 of its population.

And the north east fares well generally with Tyne and Wear fifth, 5.06, Northumberland eighth, 4.89. North Yorkshire is second, 7.69.