Darren was born in Nottingham in 1976, and got his first break in professional football at English Third Division side Lincoln City, where his Five goals in his first 28 games were enough to earn him the interest of several top flight clubs. He signed for Newcastle in 1995, but in spite of being tipped for greatness, found it difficult to break into the squad under the management of Kevin Keegan. He spent a brief period of time out on loan at Millwall before eventually signing for Coventry on a permanent deal the following year.
During his time at Coventry, Huckerby struck up a famous partnership with fellow striker Dion Dublin. The duo would not only keep Coventry in the premiership, but the following season help the sky blues to a 10 game unbeaten run and an FA Cup quarter final. It was during his time at Coventry that Huckerby scored perhaps his most famous goal, a stunning run and finish against the mighty Manchester United. He transferred to Leeds in 1999.
A reported £6million fee shows just how in-demand Darren was at this time, but his time at Leeds was not his most successful, scoring just two goals in 40 appearances and struggling to hold a place in a team containing the likes of Mark Viduka and Alan Smith. He would move on to Manchester City in 2000.
Darren went on to score a brilliant 22 goals in 69 Man City games, which included helping them win promotion to the Premiership. However, once in the top flight Man City invested in the likes of Nicolas Anelka and Jon Macken, and Hucks again found himself on the bench. He spent the latter stages of his City career on loan, firstly at Notts Forest, then perhaps most famously and successfully, at Norwich.
Darren helped Norwich to promotion to the Premier League in the 03-04 season, as his loan spell was turned into a permanent move. In the premier league he moved to a left wing role, and a set of dazzling performances saw him linked with the likes of Celtic and Liverpool. Hucks affirmed his status as a Norwich legend by staying put, in spite of the club’s relegation. Huckerby made 174 appearances for the Canaries, winning two “Player of the Season” awards, and coming second place twice for the same accolade. His spell with Norwich cemented him in their hall of fame for a very long time.
Hucks spent the twilight of his career in the MLS, following an unpopular release from his Norwich contract. He played 29 games for the San Jose Earthquakes, scoring nine goals and also winning the ‘MLS newcomer of the year’ award. A hip injury in 2009 was suspected to play a big part in his retirement.
Hucks, The North Stand salutes you!