By 90Min
May 10, 2018

Born: 23 April 1976, Nottingham, England

Age: 42

Age in 2005: 29

Premier League Clubs: Newcastle United (1995-96), Manchester City (2000-03), Norwich City (2003-08)

Position: Forward


When an American interviewer described San Jose Earthquake's latest signing as a "legend" who had scored "the greatest goals ever", the last thing viewers expected to see was the grinning face of Darren Huckerby. But Darren Huckerby they saw. 


From the thick East Midlands accent to the meticulously gelled hair, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that the person they were looking at was indeed Darren Huckerby from Nottinghamshire.

Hucks first flew the nest aged just 17, when he signed a professional contract with Lincoln City in the Third Division. Cool, calm, quick and composed, Dazza managed an average of one goal every six games, rendering himself too good for the lower leagues, and began attracting interest from a number of big clubs and Millwall. 

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

(Above: The Huckster and one of either Brian, Paul or Barry to his right)


After signing for Millwall, Hucks made his first big move to Coventry City in a deal worth some money, where he went from being a big fish in a small pond to being dwarfed by the likes of Brian Borrows, Paul Williams and Barry Quinn. However, never one to shy away from a challenge, Huckers stepped up to the plate and very nearly managed to score eight goals in his first season.


Then in 2000, following a two-season long spell with Leeds United that yielded four goals in 45 appearances, Manchester City believed Huckerby was the one who could save them in their bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League, and signed him in January for £3.4m.

 

However, despite his best efforts, the striker's one goal in a 2-1 loss to Ipswich Town didn't keep the Citizens up and they were relegated along with Bradford City and his former club, Coventry. When questioned about his one goal, he responded: "I thought it would be enough". 

Craig Prentis/GettyImages

(Above: Huckleberry Darren applauds his fans)


Nevertheless, after a season in the Championship, City bounced straight back up into the Premier League, where the Huck equalled his first season tally when the ball hit his head and went into the goal against Newcastle United. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to secure his place in the side for the remainder of the campaign and he was soon shipped off to Norwich City for a cool 750-thousand-rising-to-one-million-following-promotion pounds. 

It was at Carrow Road that Darren 'Huckleberry' Huckerby was to experience his most success, even flirting with the England B team once as a sub, and notched up 36 goals in total, including the one that would later be declared "the greatest of all time according to international sources and the internet". 

Jamie McDonald/GettyImages

(Above: Huckerby remonstrates with someone who reckons Maradona's World Cup 86 goal was the best of all time)

Such was his triumph for the Canaries that soon Europe's elites and Celtic came knocking, vying for his signature in the hope that he would also score the greatest goal ever for them. Yet after enquiries from Liverpool - home to five Champions League trophies and The BeatlesHuckerby decided to give them a resounding 'no', stating that his heart was firmly in Norwich - home to the 'Friendship Trophy' and Seasick Dave. 

The Huckster finished his career at San Jose Earthquakes after being given a resounding 'no' himself upon asking the Norwich board of directors for a new contract, and saw out his final playing days bathing in the Californian sunshine, having apparently fooled the Americans into thinking that he was a legend. 


Where is he now?


After publishing his autobiography, 'Hucks: Through Adversity to Great Heights', Huckerby last appeared in the Norfolk Eastern Daily Press, where he tackled the thorny issue of whether Wes Hoolahan would be better off making loads of money in the US or China.


What did he say?

"My wife's not a pop singer" 


Go and follow @premclassics on Instagram and @Prem_Classics on Twitter for daily updates on more classic Premier League players

You May Like

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)