Darren Ward (footballer, born 1978)
|Full name||Darren Philip Ward|
|Date of birth||13 September 1978|
|Place of birth||Kenton, Harrow, Middlesex, England|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|1999–2000||→ Queens Park Rangers (loan)||14||(0)|
|2008||→ Watford (loan)||9||(1)|
|2009||→ Charlton Athletic (loan)||16||(0)|
|2009||→ Millwall (loan)||9||(0)|
|2012–2013||→ Swindon Town (loan)||17||(1)|
|2015||→ Crawley Town (loan)||18||(1)|
|2013||Swindon Town (joint caretaker manager)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:41, 18 May 2017 (UTC).
Darren Philip Ward (born 13 September 1978) is an English footballer who most recently played for Yeovil Town. Ward has played for all three major South London teams, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace and Millwall. He also played for and was briefly joint caretaker manager at Swindon Town.
Born in Kenton, a district of Harrow, Ward started his career at Watford, making his debut on 20 April 1996 against arch-rivals Luton. But opportunities were scant for Ward in the next few seasons – he made eight appearances in 1996–97 and, after suffering a badly broken leg, only one appearance in each of the following two seasons.
Ward was loaned out to Q.P.R., in the 1999–2000 season, playing fifteen games, and was generally impressive. On his return to Watford he became one of their first-team centre-halves, playing against teams like Manchester United and Arsenal in the club's final two months in the Premiership and scoring in a 1–1 draw with Middlesbrough. On their return to Division 1, Ward continued to be a first team regular, making 40 appearances in 2000–01.
Gianluca Vialli's arrival at Vicarage Road in the summer of 2001 saw a considerable re-modelling of the side, and Ward was one the casualties. He moved to Millwall in October 2001 for £500,000 where he became a regular first team player, and was nicknamed 'The Peckham Beckham', due to the fact that his haircut is similar to that of former England captain David Beckham. At The New Den, Ward and Matthew Lawrence stood out at the central defensive position, as the Lions played in the 2004 FA Cup Final, against Manchester United. Ward played the full 90 minutes, as Millwall were beaten 3–0.
In May 2005 he moved across south-London to Crystal Palace for £1.1m, signing a three-year deal. Ward initially did well and his goalscoring form made him very popular, but by the end of his first season this good form disappeared, and by May 2007 he was out of the side, with Mark Hudson and Leon Cort preferred instead.
In July 2007, Ward joined Wolves on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee however it was announced in May 2008 that he would be one of many casualties leaving the club, after spending less than a year there. However, after showing a positive attitude, Ward was taken off the transfer list and told to fight for his place.
He went on a two-month loan to Watford in September 2008, the club where he began his career, but this was halted after nine appearances when he suffered a cheekbone fracture. He scored once during his second spell at Watford, in a 3–0 win over QPR.
He joined Charlton Athletic on loan for the remainder of the 2008–09 season on 30 January 2009, but was unable to prevent the team being relegated to League One. He returned to his parent club in the summer, who loaned him out again in September 2009, this time to his former team Millwall on a three-month loan, made permanent on 1 January 2010. He signed a three-year contract extension with Millwall in June 2010.
Ward signed permanently for Swindon Town on 4 January 2013, after a successful loan spell. He signed a four-month loan deal at the beginning of the 2012–13 season until January which resulted in signing the 18-month deal.
On 20 February, following the departure of Paolo Di Canio, Swindon announced that along with Tommy Miller, Ward would be taking temporary charge of the squad for the game against Preston on 23 February.
Crawley Town (loan)
On 8 January 2015, it was announced that Darren Ward would be joining Crawley Town on loan from Swindon Town until the end of the 2014/15 season. Darren had made 499 career appearances, and has said that he wants to make it to the 600 mark. He scored his first goal for Crawley in a 2–0 win over Notts County on 18 April 2015.
On 8 November 2015, Ward signed for Yeovil Town on a short term contract until January 2016. After being made captain of Yeovil following the appointment of Darren Way as manager, Ward signed an extension to his contract until June 2017. At the end of the 2016–17 season, Ward was released by Yeovil along with five other players.
Darren has his own blog which he posts regularly on a variety of topics. Being a professional football player many of the posts on health and fitness topics as they are key to his profession.
His blog http://darrenwardsblog.blogspot.co.uk/ provides an insight into how he goes about ensuring that his at his peak in order to play at high level of football. Darren has had a long and expansive career to date, this is a direct result of the information that he published on his blog.
It is evident from his posts that Darren has a keen interest in health, diet and fitness. As a football player it would be expected to be interested in looking after the body but Darren is passionate about all areas of health and well being.
The blog displays his depth of knowledge in nutrition, healthy state of mind, general well being and power foods.
Darren has aspirations after his football career to build up his business portfolio, specially working in financial services, setting up New Incentive FC alongside Finsbury.
He aims to help sports professionals by providing them with specifically tailored financial advice. Through his career Darren has had experience with looking finances that impartial advice was not available for him or his fellow professionals to access. Darren wants to be able to give assistance to young sports professionals setting out on their career, ensuring that they are equipped with the knowledge to look after and utilise their personal finances to its greatest potential.
Darren is the brother of AFC Bournemouth's ex-West Ham United defender Elliott Ward. He turned down the opportunity of joining West Ham and the Premiership before opting for Palace, claiming he didn't want to keep his brother out of the team.
- As of 18 February 2017.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Queens Park Rangers (loan)||1999–2000||First Division||14||0||1||0||0||0||—||15||0|
|Charlton Athletic (loan)||2008–09||Championship||16||0||0||0||0||0||—||16||0|
|Millwall (loan)||2009–10||League One||9||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||10||0|
|Swindon Town (loan)||2012–13||League One||17||1||1||0||0||0||1[a]||0||19||1|
|Crawley Town (loan)||2014–15||League One||18||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||18||1|
|Yeovil Town||2015–16||League Two||18||1||3||0||0||0||2[a]||0||23||1|
- Morley, Darren (7 May 2000). "Doomed Watford keep on singing". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- "Wolves have end-of-term clear-out". BBC Sport. 9 May 2008.
- "Loan pair to extend Watford stay". BBC Sport. 29 October 2008.
- "Mackay angry after Ward is sent to hospital with suspected fractured cheek bone". Watford Observer. 25 November 2008.
- "Watford 3–0 QPR". BBC. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
- "Ward Into The Lions Den". wolves.co.uk. 11 September 2009. Archived from the original on 24 November 2009.
- "Millwall sign Wolves defender Ward permanently". BBC Sport. 1 January 2010.
- "Millwall defender Darren Ward signs new deal". BBC Sport. 10 June 2010.
- "Darren Ward signs for Crawley on loan". The Argus. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- "Crawley 2–0 Notts County". BBC Sport. 18 April 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "Darren Ward: Yeovil Town sign veteran defender". BBC Sport. 8 November 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
- "Darren Ward signs new contract at Yeovil Town". Yeovil Town F.C. 2 January 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- "Tom Eaves: Yeovil Town forward among six released by League Two club". BBC Sport. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
- "Quotes of the week". BBC Sport. 23 August 2005.
- "The Millwall footballer who runs a cattery". BBC Sport. 28 February 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
- "Darren Ward stats". Soccerbase. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
- Darren Ward at Soccerbase