Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-13 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games

Huckerby: Darren Carl (Darren)

1999-2000 (Leeds Player Details)(Player Details)

Forward/Winger

Born: Nottingham: 23-04-1976

Debut: Manchester United (a): 14-08-1999

5’10” 11st 12lb (2007)

After progressing through the Lincoln City Academy he signed professional on 14th July 1993. A regular scorer at youth team level, he made his first team debut as a substitute, on 1st March 1994 in a 2-1 win at Shrewsbury Town, scoring within five minutes of coming on. Only seventeen years of age, he made four further substitute appearances that season but had to wait another year until he made his run-on debut, but soon established himself as a regular after that.He scored twice in the final three games of the 1994-95 season, including one in a 3-1 win at Division Three champions Carlisle United on the final day of the season.His form at the start of the 1995-96 season had the scouts gathering in swarms at Sincil Bank. Nineteen of his thirty-one appearances for the Imps came in that season and his performance on 1st November 1995 in a 2-1 win at Mansfield Town, convinced the watching Newcastle United Manager, Kevin Keegan to sign the Imps' speedster on 9th November 1995. He played his final game froth Imps on 4th November 1995 in a 1-1 draw against Hartlepool United at Sincil Bank. He scored five goals in twenty League starts and eight as substitute, as well as startinfg two League Cup ties, without scoring and scoring twice in one other game. Part of the deal saw a full strength Magpie outfit, including newly signed Alan Shearer, play the Imps in the following pre-season at Sincil Bank. His time at Newcastle was hardly illustrious. His full career consisted of one substitute appearance in a 2-1 home win over Bolton Wanderers on 20th January 1996 in the League, after having played as a substitute in his club debut in the F.A. Cup in a home 2-2 draw with Chelsea, three days previous, without finding the net in either game. He had been snapped up by Newcastle as his potential was there for all to see. However, Newcastle never saw the realisation of that potential, with Huckerby never making a start for the first team. Despite this, he was still a very popular player amongst the fans and his team-mates, and he did go on to justify Newcastle's judgement elsewhere. Firstly he was loaned out to Millwall for a month from 5th September 1996, where he started six League games and netted three goals before he returned to St James' on 2nd October 1996. Coventry City saw the potential in the exciting Huckerby and paid £1million for him on 23rd November 1996. Possessed of a good turn of speed, Huckerby used this to good effect on the wing or when he was used as a conventional forward. He soon came to the notice of others as he scored some spectacular goals including a hat-trick at Leeds near the end of the 1997-98 season. His good form was recognized by England as he was selected for four consecutive Under-Twenty-One Internationals. He came on as a sixtieth minute replacement for Darren Eadie as England beat Italy 1-0 in the 1998 Euro Qualifiers, then started but was replaced in the eighty-fourth minute by future Leeds player Ian Moore in a 0-0 home draw with Switzerland, was a half-time replacement for Emile Heskey in a home 0-0 draw with Georgia in the Euro Qualifiers and finally as a sixty-seventh minute replacement for the same Emile Heskey in the same competition. He also picked up a cap for the England "B" team on 10th February 1998 as they went down 1-2 to Chile at the Hawthorns, when he started and played a full game. “A scorer of great goals, but not a great goal-scorer" was how Gordon Strachan, his manager summed him up after pocketing £4million on 11th August 1999, which saw Huckerby on the way to Leeds United, after scoring twenty-eight League goals in eighty-five starts and nine substitute appearances, together with six goals in twelve starts in the F. A. Cup and none in two starts and one from the bench in the League Cup, for the Sky Blues. To be fair he could not really have expected to be picked ahead of the in-form Michael Bridges and later the multi-talented Mark Viduka, while he also had a forelorn hope of replacing the brilliant Harry Kewell on the left, so his was a back-up role in case of injury to the Leeds stars or as an impact player to take advantage of tired legs in opposition, when his lightening speed could be used to its best effect. The Leeds' Fans expectations were not fulfilled by the player they called “Forest Gump” as he failed to produce the goods on a consistent basis and was almost a permanent fixture on the bench for Leeds in the 1999-2000 campaign where he came from the bench no fewer than twenty-four times to supplement his nine starts in which he hit the net only twice. After a miserable start to the following season when five more substitute appearances and two starts failed to produce a goal, he was sold to Manchester City for £3.4million on 29th December 2000. His first season was just a continuation of his Leeds career, scoring just once, a penalty, in thirteen appearances, of which five were off the bench, as City were relegated. The following season saw the resurrection of Huckerby’s reputation as he was the leading light in City’s promotion drive back to the EPL. He scored twenty goals in the League from thirty starts and ten more from the bench. In total he scored twenty six goals in the season that saw him win his first honour, a First Division Championship medal. The arrival of Robbie Fowler and Nicolas Anelka at Maine Road in 2003, meant he was surplus to requirements and he went on loan to Forest from the end of February to the end of the season, scoring five times in nine games, helping his hometown side to the play-offs, where he played twice without scoring, but just missing out on promotion and returned to Maine Road on 16th May 2003. With the arrival of Steve McManaman, he fell further down the pecking order as City moved to their new home at the City of Manchester Stadium, and it came as no surprise when he joined Norwich City on loan on 8th September 2003. He was an instant hit, scoring five League goals in sixteen starts and had Manager Nigel Worthington interested in prolonging his three month proposed loan, as Huckerby started to find the net more regularly and won the Division One player of the month award. Both Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion had also taken a keen interest in his progress, but none of the clubs were impressed by Huckerby's agent's declaration that Huckerby was an EPL player and would demand EPL wages. It took a personal statement from the player to the Carrow Road club saying he was quite happy there to calm the situation. Notts Forest, West Bromwich Albion, Millwall and Sheffield United were all linked with Huckerby as the season progressed through November and Huckerby returned to the City of Manchester Stadium on 13th December 2003 after playing for Norwich in a 4-1 drubbing of Cardiff City at Carrow Road in which he found the net twice and put on a "Man of the Match" performance. On 16th December 2003 West Bromwich Albion had a bid for Huckerby accepted by Manchester City. This brought an immediate bid from Norwich City of £750,000 which was also accepted by his employers. Huckerby rejected the West Bromwich Albion offer and decided not to travel to the Hawthorns to discuss terms. He discussed terms with the Carrow Road club for two days from Monday 22nd December 2003 but a deal could not be agreed, despite Norwich offering to make Huckerby their best ever paid player. On Christmas Eve, the deal seemed dead. A belated Christmas present was delivered when Huckerby was presented to the Norwich crowd for the Boxing Day clash with Notts Forest. He signed that day for £750,000 and made his second Norwich debut on 3rd January 2004 in the 3-1 FA Cup defeat at Everton. A clause in the contract meant that it would rise to £1million if Norwich achieved promotion, which they eventually did. He had scored twenty-two goals in forty League starts and a further twenty-five games from the bench, with two more goals being scored in six starts and one game from the bench in the F.A. Cup, six goals in twostarts and three from the bench in the League Cup, and one goal in one other game, while with the Sky Blues. Seen by most as the main reason why Norwich won promotion to the EPL in 2003-4, he was surprisingly missing from the PFA Division One Team of the Year. However he was selected as the PFA Fans' Player of the Year for Division One. He was linked with a move to Liverpool in January 2005, but he insisted he would honour his Norwich contract. In June 2005 he was linked with a reunion with Gordon Strachan, who had become Manager at Celtic. Huckerby won the Norwich City Player of the Year award for the 2006-07 season. He made his two hundredth appearance for Norwich City on 13th April 2008 in a 1-2 defeat by Ipswich Town at Portman Road. He made his final appearance for the Canaries on 4th May 2008 in the 1-4 defeat at Hillsborough by Sheffield Wednesday on 4th May 2008, which saw Huckerby score his forty-eighth goal for the Canaries. Two days later and it was announced that City would not be renewing his contract much to the dismay of many Norwich fans. He had scored thirty-six League goals in one hundred and sixty-one starts and thirteen more from the bench, with five more in eight F.A. Cup starts and two in five starts in the League Cup after signing permanently for Norwich. He ruled out joining any English clubs as he did not wish to have to play against Norwich City, and so his horizons widened towards the MSL with Toronto FC and San Jose Earthquakes the main clubs of interest. On 11th July 2008, Huckerby signed for San Jose Earthquakes and his transfer was duly processed on 15th July 2008. He made his debut on 19th July 2008 and scored his first goal against Red Bull New York on the 27th of the same month. In a crucial match for the Earthquakes, on 3rd August 2008, Huckerby scored his second goal, against the LA Galaxy, in a 3-2 Earthquakes win. On 30th August, he headed in the winning goal in the side's 2-1 victory over Kansas City Wizards, extending San Jose's unbeaten streak to seven games. During this run, Huckerby netted three goals and laid on three for others. At the end of his first season in the MLS, Huckerby was voted San Jose's Most Valuable Player. He has scored six goals in fourteen games making him the team's leading in goalscorer. After an outstanding performance in September he was named the MLS Player of the Month. On 11th November 2008 he was named as the 2008 MLS Newcomer of the Year. In the 2009 season he made a further fourteen appearanances, one of which was from the bench, and added three more goals, to make his record twenty-seven starts and one from the bench and nine goals and five assists. In that season Huckerby suffer from injuries and in September 2009, he required surgery on a shredded hip joint. He underwent surgery to remedy his hip injury and on 16th September 2009 he announced his retirement with 99% certainty. He returned to Norwich and loves in Norfolk, doing charity work. He is also trying to gain coaching qualifications and has featured for Leeds United in the Masters Football Competition, when the club were national runners-up and Huckerby won the "Golden Boot" award.

AppearancesGoals
League 11/292
F.A. Cup 1/20
League Cup 1/1 2
Europe 1/10 2