Jimmy Kebe was a player that was adored by the majority of Reading’s supporters but mocked by the Leeds United fanbase after a mixed career in English football.
The rangy winger had trudged through the divisions in France early in his career, but was offered a route to England by Brian McDermott, who took a chance on him at Reading.
It was at the Madejski Stadium where Kebe was a real hit, becoming one of the Championship’s most exciting wingers to watch.
In over 150 league appearances for the Royals, Kebe returned 29 goals and countless assists, proving to be crucial under McDermott – now manager of Reading – during the 2011/12 campaign, as his side won the Championship title and promotion.
However, that was where his career peaked. A failed spell in South London with Crystal Palace was the start of his decline, and when he stepped back into the Championship with Leeds, Kebe really flopped.
Kebe’s Leeds debut came in a 6-0 thrashing against Sheffield Wednesday, and in nine appearances he managed just one goal, struggling to produce for McDermott’s new employers.
After a return and release from Palace, the Malian winger headed to Spain before retirement.
Now, and quite unexpectedly, the 34-year-old has turned his hand to professional poker.
Kebe had originally started playing cash games, but has since switched to tournaments.
In September 2018 it was reported that in four years on the poker scene, Kebe had earned $128,000 from live poker tournaments.
Discussing his new career back in September, Kebe said: “Until recently I did not know much about poker when I was playing in a tournament. But recently for the last few months I’ve gotten more interested so I’m trying to play more and more.”
A bizarre twist to an up and down career.