Born in Lincoln in 1969 to an RAF family and brought up in Newton Aycliffe in North East England, Darren started his football career at Middlesbrough as a young lad of 15, before he was hit with injury and was released within the first year. He joined the RAF as a Firefighter at the age of 20 and spent 16 years travelling the world. Darren played football for Combined Services for 12 years, and during that time he also played civilian football for several clubs, including: Haverfordwest in the Welsh Premier; Bath City in the Conference; and Wroxham Utd FC and Norwich Utd FC, both in the Ryman's Premier League.
Since leaving the RAF in 2006 on a medical discharge, Darren has endured shoulder corrective surgery 6 times, as well as 7 other operations along the way. Since retiring from football, Darren has gone on to get his UEFA B coaching badge in Northern Ireland but is currently not involved with any team.
Darren has had a number of job roles since his RAF days, including managerial and teaching, and after relocating to Kent with his wife Mel and their son Hudson, he set up his own company 1st Aid Fire, a professionally accredited company providing high standards of affordable fire and safety training across the South of England and London.
In 2017 Darren was delighted to be chosen as part of Team UK for the Warrior Games in Chicago, and in 2018 he achieved his dream to be included as part of Team GB at the Invictus Games in Sydney.
Darren’s main sport these days is an adaptive sport called Sitting Volleyball. Though new to this sport, Darren has managed to train with Team GB and is awaiting classification for his injuries (degenerative disc disease in his back – currently awaiting 2 operations on root nerve damage). Darren also managed to win the 2019/20 National Sitting Volleyball League whilst playing for Help for Heroes.
Through his experiences in the RAF and living with chronic pain, Darren's mental health has suffered enormously at times throughout his life, but this is something he never shies away from speaking about as he understands how sharing his experiences helps others who are suffering with poor mental health. Over the years Darren has organised and taken part in many events to raise money for various charities including Help for Heroes, Mind, The Royal British Legion and Children in Need.
Away from sport and his career, Darren loves to spend quality time with Mel and Hudson and is proud to see Hudson excel in football and share his love of the beautiful game.
Darren is now beginning a career in media/TV and will be a co-host in a new Talk Show called 'Men’s Talk' on Sky TV, which is due to be aired on Saturday 7th November for 13 weeks.
Good Morning Britain - Mount Kilimanjaro interview
KMTV - pre Invictus Games interview
KMTV - post Invictus Games interview (begins 7m40s)
BBC South East Today Special Report
Miles for Hospitals
Kilimanjaro Channel 5 News
Warrior Games - Kent Online
Invictus Games bio
Warrior Games Chicago 2017
Invictus Games Sydney 2018