Darren Byfield

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Darren Byfield
Byfield, Darren.jpg
Personal information
Full name Darren Asherton Byfield[1]
Date of birth (1976-09-29) 29 September 1976 (age 38)
Place of birth Sutton Coldfield, England[2]
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Solihull Moors
Youth career
Aston Villa
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–1999 Aston Villa 7 (0)
1998–1999 Preston North End (loan) 5 (1)
1999 Northampton Town (loan) 6 (1)
1999 Cambridge United (loan) 4 (0)
2000 Blackpool (loan) 3 (0)
2000–2002 Walsall 77 (13)
2001 Rotherham United (loan) 3 (2)
2002–2004 Rotherham United 65 (20)
2004 Sunderland 17 (5)
2004–2006 Gillingham 67 (19)
2006–2007 Millwall 31 (16)
2007–2008 Bristol City 33 (8)
2008–2009 Doncaster Rovers 15 (0)
2008–2009 Oldham Athletic (loan) 8 (1)
2009 Oldham Athletic 3 (0)
2009–2011 Walsall 55 (12)
2012 Solihull Moors 2 (0)
2012 AFC Telford United 7 (1)
2013–2014 Tamworth 31 (4)
2014– Solihull Moors 8 (3)
National team
2003 Jamaica 6 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:47 14th October 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Darren Asherton Byfield (born 29 September 1976) is a footballer who plays Solihull Moors as a forward.

Byfield won six caps for Jamaica in 2003, and has scored 110 goals in 484 appearances across all domestic competitions so far in his football career. He was briefly married to pop star Jamelia, with whom he had one child.

He began his career with Aston Villa in 1997, and enjoyed loan spells with Preston North End, Northampton Town, Cambridge United, and Blackpool, before winning a move to Walsall in June 2000. He scored the winning goal in the 2001 Second Division play-off final, and then made a £50,000 move to Rotherham United in March 2002. He was traded to Sunderland in February 2004, and then moved on to Gillingham five months later. He transferred to Millwall in June 2006, before joining Bristol City in August 2007. He moved on to Doncaster Rovers in July 2008, before linking up with Oldham Athletic in August 2009, having played on loan at the club during the previous season. His stay at Oldham lasted only a handful of games, after which he returned to Walsall. He left the Football League in June 2011 following an injury-hit 2010–11 campaign. He joined non-league Solihull Moors for a brief spell in March 2012, before moving on to AFC Telford United six months later. He joined Tamworth in January 2013.

Club career[edit]

Byfield started his career at Aston Villa, and graduated through the club's Academy to make his Premier League debut on 28 December 1997, in a 1–1 draw with Leeds United at Elland Road. Given his debut by outgoing boss Brian Little, he rarely featured under new "Villans" manager John Gregory. He made six further substitute appearances in 1997–98.

He appeared in the UEFA Cup in a 3–2 win over Norwegian outfit Strømsgodset IF at Villa Park on 15 September 1998. Byfield was loaned out to Preston North End in November 1998, and scored on his debut at Deepdale on 7 November, in a 4–1 win over Burnley. He played four further Second Division games for David Moyes's "Lilywhites", and did not feature in the latter half of the 1998–99 season.

He joined Northampton Town on a six-week loan in August 1999, and scored twice in seven games for the "Cobblers". After the departure of manager Ian Atkins, Kevin Wilson led the Sixfields outfit to promotion out of the Third Division. Byfield meanwhile joined Cambridge United on loan immediately after leaving Northampton, and featured four times at the Abbey Stadium under manager Roy McFarland. In March 2000 he joined Blackpool on loan, in his third such move of the 1999–2000 campaign. He played three Second Division games for Steve McMahon's "Seasiders", in a brief stay at Bloomfield Road.

In June 2000, Byfield signed with Ray Graydon's Second Division side Walsall. He hit 11 goals in 51 games in 2000–01, and scored the winning goal in the 109th minute of the play-off final, giving the "Saddlers" a 3–2 victory over Reading.[3] He scored four goals in 37 First Division games in 2001–02, and left the Bescot Stadium soon after Colin Lee was appointed as manager.

In March 2002, he joined Rotherham United in a £50,000 deal.[4] He got off to a flying start to his Millmoor career, hitting two goals in three games at the back end of the 2001–02 campaign. He scored 13 goals in 38 games in 2002–03, and told the media that "Even if the manager (Ronnie Moore) brought in Ruud van Nistelrooy and Alan Shearer it wouldn't bother me, I am very confident in my own abilities."[5] His tally included four goals against Millwall on 10 August in a "stunning display" on the opening day of the season.[6] He went on to bag eight goals in 33 appearances for the "Millers" in 2003–04.

After Rotherham rejected a bid from Derby County, he signed with Sunderland in February 2004, after the two clubs agreed to a trade for Michael Proctor.[7] Byfield scored five goals in 17 games for Mick McCarthy's "Black Cats" in the latter half of the 2003–04 campaign, before departing the Stadium of Light at the end of the season.

Byfield signed a two-year contract with Championship club Gillingham in July 2004,[8] after rejecting offers from former clubs Preston and Walsall.[9] He hit just six goals in 39 appearances in 2004–05, despite maintaining an excellent work rate.[10] The club suffered relegation into League One, as well as a merry-go-round of managers, with Andy Hessenthaler making way for Stan Ternent, who was in turn replaced by Neale Cooper and then Ronnie Jepson. Byfield told the press that his teammates should take the blame for Neale Cooper's departure in November 2005, and should be "ashamed" of their performances.[11] Byfield scored 14 goals during the 2005–06 campaign, becoming the club's top-scorer, despite spending two months on the sidelines nursing a knee injury.[12]

He joined Millwall in June 2006,[13] despite manager Ronnie Jepson's best efforts to keep him at Priestfield.[14] Byfield later claimed he was not offered a new contract by the "Gills", something which chairman Paul Scally denied.[15] Scally had previously accused Southend United manager Steve Tilson of making an illegal approach for Byfield.[16] Having scored a hat-trick at the start of the month,[17] he was nominated for the League One player of the month award for January, but lost out to Bristol City's Enoch Showunmi.[18] Despite missing the end of the campaign due to an ankle injury,[19] he scored 16 goals in 31 League One games in 2006–07 to become the club's top-scorer. However he seemed keen to move away from The Den, and did not appear in pre-season friendlies or photo opportunities.[20] "Lions" boss Willie Donachie had previously rejected an offer of £165,000 from Brighton & Hove Albion chairman Dick Knight.[21]

Byfield was signed by Bristol City for an undisclosed fee (in the region of £250,000) in August 2007.[22] The Ashton Gate club exceeded all expectations in 2007–08, and top-scorer Byfield's eight goals helped them to secure a place in the Championship play-offs.[23] However, the play-off final ended in defeat to Hull City at Wembley; Byfield was a late substitute for Nick Carle.[24] In May 2008, Byfield was released by the "Robins",[25] having struggled to secure a place in Gary Johnson's starting eleven after proving himself to be something of a "super-sub".[26]

In July 2008, he joined Doncaster Rovers on a two-year deal.[27] On 14 November, he joined Oldham Athletic on a one month loan,[28] which was later extended until January 2009.[29] His "Latics" debut came in a 1–0 win over Northampton Town.[30] Manager John Sheridan described Byfield's performance as "excellent", and stated that "he caused them a lot of problems with his pace and his touch".[31] The only goal of his eight game spell came on Boxing Day against Crewe Alexandra; he scored the opening goal in a 3–0 victory at the Alexandra Stadium.[32] He returned to the Keepmoat Stadium at the end of the 2008–09 season, though sat out the end of the campaign after undergoing a hernia operation.[33] He was released from his contract by manager Sean O'Driscoll on 7 May, having failed to find the net in 16 appearances for "Donny".[34]

On 6 August 2009, Byfield joined Oldham Athletic on a short-term deal.[35] However, after four appearances with no goals, he left Boundary Park on 25 August.[36] Byfield re-signed with Walsall three days after leaving Oldham – to the delight of manager Chris Hutchings.[37] He was given a contract lasting until January 2010, with an option to extend it until the end of the 2009–10 season.[38] He formed an effective partnership with Troy Deeney,[39] and won praise from coach Mick Kearns.[40] Appointed club captain,[41] he missed much of the 2010–11 season due to a knee injury,[42] and was released by new manager Dean Smith in May 2011.[43]

In March 2012 he signed for Solihull Moors.[44] He featured in two Conference North games before the end of the 2011–12 season, in what was a brief stay at Damson Park. He joined League Two side Port Vale on trial in August 2012, and "proved he could still have something to offer with a busy performance" during a pre-season friendly with Nantwich Town.[45] The "Valiants" were unable to offer him a contract due to financial problems, and Byfield instead signed a six-month deal with Conference club AFC Telford United in September, after manager Andy Sinton needed cover to deal with injuries.[46] He moved on to Conference rivals Tamworth in January 2013, joining on non-contract terms.[47] He scored two goals in 18 games for Dale Belford's "Lambs" in the 2012–13 season and two goals in 14 games in the 2013–14 season, before departing in May 2014 after the club were relegated out of the Conference Premier.[48]

International career[edit]

Though born in Birmingham, his Jamaican heritage allowed him to win six caps for Jamaica in 2003. He was a squad member for the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The "Reggaeboyz" exited the tournament at the quarter-finals with a 5–0 defeat to hosts Mexico.

Personal life[edit]

He married pop singer Jamelia in June 2008,[49] before the pair filed for divorce in November 2009.[50] Together they had a daughter, Tiani, on 21 October 2005.[51] During their relationship he was also step-father to Teja, was born in 2001.[52] In contrast to the WAGs stereotype, Jamelia was in fact a much more famous celebrity than Byfield. This led to embarrassment for Byfield when Jamelia became engaged in a public spat with Alex Curran, wife of Steven Gerrard; Curran told OK! magazine that "[Jamelia will] be glad to know I don't know her boyfriend's name but Steven thinks he's lower than a non-league football player."[53]

"It is with regret that Jamelia and Darren Byfield today confirm they are splitting up and getting a divorce. No-one else is involved. Their priority is naturally their two children."

—A statement the couple released to confirm their divorce.[54]

Statistics[edit]

As of 17 June 2013.
Season Club Division League FA Cup League Cup Other[55] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1997–98[56] Aston Villa Premier League 6 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 8 0
1998–99[57] 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
1998–99[57] Preston North End (loan) Second Division 5 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 6 1
1999–2000[58] Aston Villa Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1999–2000[58] Northampton Town (loan) Third Division 6 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 7 2
1999–2000[58] Cambridge United (loan) Second Division 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
1999–2000[58] Blackpool (loan) 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Total 7 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 10 0
2000–01[59] Walsall Second Division 40 9 3 0 4 1 4 1 51 11
2001–02[60] First Division 37 4 3 1 1 1 0 0 41 6
Total 77 13 6 1 5 2 4 1 92 17
2001–02[60] Rotherham United (loan) First Division 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2
2002–03[61] Rotherham United 37 13 0 0 1 0 0 0 38 13
2003–04[62] 28 7 2 0 3 1 0 0 33 8
Total 68 22 2 0 4 1 0 0 74 23
2003–04[62] Sunderland First Division 17 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 5
Total 17 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 5
2004–05[63] Gillingham Championship 38 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 39 6
2005–06[64] League One 29 13 0 0 2 1 1 0 32 14
Total 67 19 1 0 2 1 1 0 71 20
2006–07[65] Millwall League One 31 16 4 0 0 0 1 0 36 16
Total 31 16 4 0 0 0 1 0 36 16
2007–08[66] Bristol City Championship 33 8 1 0 0 0 1 0 35 8
Total 33 8 1 0 0 0 1 0 35 8
2008–09[67] Doncaster Rovers Championship 15 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 16 0
Total 15 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 16 0
2008–09[67] Oldham Athletic League One 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 1
2009–10[68] 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 0
Total 11 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 12 1
2009–10[68] Walsall (loan) League One 36 10 2 0 1 0 1 0 40 10
2010–11[69] Walsall 19 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 20 2
Total 55 12 2 0 2 0 1 0 60 12
2011–12[70] Solihull Moors Conference North 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
2012–13[71] Telford United Conference National 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1
Total 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1
2012–13[71] Tamworth Conference Premier 18 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 18 2
2013–14[72] 13 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 14 2
Total 31 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 32 4
Career total 439 103 18 1 14 5 11 1 484 110

Honours[edit]

with Northampton Town
with Walsall

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Search 1984 to 2006 – Birth, Marriage and Death indexes". Findmypast.com. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  2. ^ Hugman, Barry J. (ed) (2008). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2008–09. Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-84596-324-8. 
  3. ^ "Walsall break Reading hearts". BBC Sport. 27 May 2001. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  4. ^ "Byfield's all-clear". BBC Sport. 5 April 2002. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Byfield sure of place". BBC Sport. 12 September 2003. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Rotherham stun Millwall". BBC Sport. 10 August 2002. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Rams' Byfield bid snubbed". BBC Sport. 5 February 2004. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Byfield joins Gillingham". BBC Sport. 21 July 2004. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "Byfield excited by Gills". BBC Sport. 22 July 2004. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "Pressure is on Byfield - Cooper". BBC Sport. 4 August 2005. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "Byfield hits out at Gills players". BBC Sport. 16 November 2005. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "Gills boss rues absence of trio". BBC Sport. 14 November 2005. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "Byfield agrees deal with Millwall". BBC Sport. 8 June 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  14. ^ "Gills will fight to keep Byfield". BBC Sport. 15 May 2006. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "Scally denies Byfield deal claims". BBC Sport. 23 June 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  16. ^ "Tilson hits back in Byfield row". BBC Sport. 1 February 2006. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  17. ^ "Millwall 4-1 Gillingham". BBC Sport. 1 January 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  18. ^ "Showunmi receives January award". BBC Sport. 12 February 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  19. ^ "Millwall rocked by Byfield injury". BBC Sport. 3 April 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  20. ^ "Byfield ponders Millwall future". BBC Sport. 6 August 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  21. ^ "Brighton thwarted in striker bids". BBC Sport. 1 February 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  22. ^ "Bristol City sign striker Byfield". BBC Sport. 29 August 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  23. ^ "Basso is City player of the year". BBC Sport. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  24. ^ McNulty, Phil (24 May 2008). "Bristol City 0-1 Hull". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  25. ^ "Byfield goes as City release five". BBC Sport. 26 May 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  26. ^ "Byfield eyes Robins starting spot". BBC Sport. 24 December 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  27. ^ "Striker Byfield joins Doncaster". BBC Sport. 15 July 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  28. ^ "Oldham swoop for Byfield on loan". BBC Sport. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  29. ^ "Byfield to stay at Boundary Park". Oldham Athletic AFC. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  30. ^ "Northampton 0–1 Oldham". BBC Sport. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  31. ^ "Sheridan praises new boy Byfield". BBC Sport. 17 November 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  32. ^ "Crewe 0–3 Oldham". BBC Sport. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  33. ^ "Byfield resumes full training". BBC Sport. 10 April 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  34. ^ "O'Driscoll wields the axe". Sky Sports. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  35. ^ "Latics seal double deal". Sky Sports. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  36. ^ "Byfield shown exit door by Oldham". BBC Sport. 25 August 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  37. ^ "Striker Byfield rejoins Walsall". BBC Sport. 28 August 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  38. ^ "Byfield is back!". Walsall FC. 28 August 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  39. ^ "Deeney praises Byfield influence". BBC Sport. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  40. ^ "Kearns has Saddlers play-off hope". BBC Sport. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  41. ^ "Walsall skipper Darren Byfield sidelined". BBC Sport. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  42. ^ "Darren Byfield injury blow for Walsall". BBC Sport. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  43. ^ "Andy Butler signs new contract at Walsall". BBC Sport. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  44. ^ "Byfield coup for Moors". NonLeagueDaily.com. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  45. ^ "Port Vale boss checks out Darren Byfield as search for striker goes on". The Sentinel. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  46. ^ "Telford United snap up Darren Byfield and Jordan Rose". BBC Sport. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  47. ^ "Darren Byfield joins on non-contract terms". BBC Sport. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  48. ^ Panter, Matt (9 May 2014). "Former Aston Villa man set for Lambs departure". Tamworth Herald. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  49. ^ "Singer Jamelia to divorce Darren Byfield after 18 months of marriage". Daily Mail. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  50. ^ "Jamelia heads for divorce court". BBC. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2009. 
  51. ^ "Singer Jamelia has second child". BBC News. 21 October 2005. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  52. ^ "R&B singer Jamelia expecting baby". BBC News. 19 April 2005. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  53. ^ Brown, Mark (4 October 2006). "People". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  54. ^ "Jamelia heads for divorce court". BBC News. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  55. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the Football League Trophy
  56. ^ "Games played by Darren Byfield in 1997/1998". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  57. ^ a b "Games played by Darren Byfield in 1998/1999". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  58. ^ a b c d "Games played by Darren Byfield in 1999/2000". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  59. ^ "Games played by Darren Byfield in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  60. ^ a b "Games played by Darren Byfield in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  61. ^ "Games played by Darren Byfield in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  62. ^ a b "Games played by Darren Byfield in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  63. ^ "Games played by Darren Byfield in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  64. ^ "Games played by Darren Byfield in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  65. ^ "Games played by Darren Byfield in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  66. ^ "Games played by Darren Byfield in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  67. ^ a b "Games played by Darren Byfield in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  68. ^ a b "Games played by Darren Byfield in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  69. ^ "Games played by Darren Byfield in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  70. ^ "Statistics". Soccerway. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  71. ^ a b "Games played by Darren Byfield in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  72. ^ "Games played by Darren Byfield in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 

External links[edit]