That neighbour just happens to be QPR manager Ian Holloway, who had the Irish starlet on loan at Loftus Road at the end of last season.
Stephen played nine games for QPR at the crucial stage of the campaign, securing a place in the play-offs and culminating in the Nationwide Division Two Play-Off Final at the Millennium Stadium.
He was at loan at Southend before QPR and was back on his travels at the start of this season at Watford before being recalled and stepping in to replace suspended Steve Carr against Charlton. He did so without fault.
Having spent most of 2003 on loan, it's no surprise that Dean hadn't seen too much of him - he didn't have to.
"He was at QPR and one of my next door neighbours is Ian Holloway, the QPR manager and he speaks so highly of him," said the big man. "He did superbly there last season.
"He did very well against Charlton because it's difficult enough for a young lad to come into a team that's winning, so when the team is not getting results and it's not going so well to come in and put in such a complete performance speaks volumes.
"I thought he did well out there. He didn't hide, stood up to be counted, defended very solidly and showed good things going forward."
Dean Richards knew just what to expect of debutant Stephen Kelly on Sunday - after rave reviews from one of his neighbours.