If it wasn't for a phone call from one of Yorkshire's selectors, Steve Kirby would have been selling industrial flooring for the rest of his life. After numerous attempts to become a professional cricketer, he had given up all hopes at a young age of 24.
A right-arm fast bowler, Kirby joined Leicestershire at the age of 16, but did not play a single first-class game for the county. He eventually made his debut for Yorkshire in 2001, and impressed with a seven-wicket haul. He recorded bowling figures of 12-72 in just his third match and played a major role in Yorkshire's first Championship victory in 33 years. This performance fetched him in a place in England's Academy squad in Australia later that year. Kirby is an aggressive bowler on the field, and is often involved in sledging as part of his bowling tactics. He once made a famous comment to Mike Atherton, saying that he had seen better batsmen in his fridge. He did not stop at that, but dismissed Atherton in both innings of what transpired to be the English skipper’s last championship game, proving just why he should be a force to reckon with.
Injuries soon raised concerns over his bowling and Kirby struggled with his form since 2004, taking just 31 wickets at a not-so-impressive average of 36 and above. He was released by Yorkshire and was immediately signed by Gloucestershire in 2005, before moving to Somerset in 2011 on a three-year contract.