BURY'S highly rated 'keeper Paddy Kenny has joined Sheffield United on a shock three-month loan deal with a view to a permanent signing writes Phil Thorp

The Shakers custodian will be joining up with former boss Neil Warnock and goalkeeping coach Kevin Blackwell - the man who did so much to develop Kenny after he joined the Shakers as a raw recruit from UniBond League outfit Bradford Park Avenue in 1998.

Kenny cost the Shakers £10,000 and in his first two years at Gigg was understudy to Eire international Dean Kiely, a player some observers reckon he could join in the Republic squad some time in the future. If all goes well during Kenny's spell at Bramall Lane a permanent deal is expected to be struck although the Shakers are unlikely to receive the kind of money previously mentioned when clubs have cast an envious eye over the Bury 'keeper.

In the past, when clubs of Arsenal's standing were believed to be keeping tabs on Kenny, figures of £1 million were being bandied about but with the Blades struggling financially themselves it is hardly likely they are in a position to come anywhere near that figure.

The move to part with crowd favourite Kenny is another indication of the difficult financial decisions the Shakers board are having to make after coming out of administration and the board will know full well just what an unpopular move it will be to the Shakers faithful.

His departure throws open the door for young Welshman Glyn Garner to establish himself as the Shakers' number one.

The former Cwmbran Town, Risca, Newport County and Caerleon player, who was a Welsh semi-professional international, was signed from Llanelli as back-up for the Halifax-born 'keeper and was blooded in a number of games last season.