Neil Warnock played a 14-year-old in pre-season for this bizarre reason

 Managerial legend Neil Warnock has written his name in the history books as one of English football's greatest characters, and Paddy Kenny recalled one tale befitting the man

Neil Warnock played a 14-year-old in pre-season for this bizarre reason

Cutting shrewd deals has long been a part of Neil Warnock's paradigm, but he doesn't restrict his business sense to football.

Responsible for bringing the likes of Adel Taarabt and Kyle Walker (on loan) to QPR, Warnock also signed James McArthur from Wigan during his days at Crystal Palace. That's in addition to the long list of free acquisitions he's made a 40-year coaching career, adding the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Bruce Grobbelaar and Jay Bothroyd on loans or budget deals.

And Warnock once wielded his wheeler-dealer ways to hand one unknown a 20-minute cameo for the price of one home makeover. Former Sheffield United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny spent roughly half his career playing under the Yorkshireman and recounted one hilarious example of his unorthodox methods.

"Warnock used to take us to Cornwall all the time," said Kenny on the I Had Trials Once podcast. "We were playing a game. We're all there getting changed before we go out [and] Warnock's brought this young kid in about 14 years old.

"This young kid's come in with his dad, and we were like, 'What's going off here? F88888g hell, why would he be playing?'

"Anyway, he tells us, 'Just to let you all know lads, this is so-and-so and his dad, so-and-so - he's playing 20 minutes at the end of the game.' We were like 'Eh?'"

Some among the squad might have been tempted to think Warnock had stumbled upon the Cornish Lionel Messi. However, the real reason behind his sudden appearance was a lot less impressive.

"Anyway this young kid comes on, plays 20 minutes, pre-season I think it were Bodmin we were playing," Kenny continued. "We found out afterwards the lad's dad had decorated Warnock's house, so instead of paying him, he gave his lad 20 f***ing minutes pre-season [laughs]."

One youngster's dream is a complete nightmare from an insurer's perspective, and it's just as well the youth didn't suffer any serious injury. But with a free renovation up for grabs, Warnock was far too astute to let the opportunity pass him by.

 There was no word on how the kid did, but it's safe to assume it wasn't enough for Warnock to consider anything more permanent. Still, the tale gives hope to those of us out there who may still envision a career at the pro level.

One can never tell how far a bit of knowledge in plastering and decorating will take you (or your child).

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