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An A-Z of Stephen Darby

7 July 2017

Get to know Wanderers' latest summer signing a little better with's quick bullet-point guide!

A – ANFIELD – Stephen Darby started his career with boyhood club Liverpool, progressing through the youth ranks at Anfield right up into the first team.

B – BRADFORD CITY – The defender joins Bolton Wanderers after leaving Bradford City having spent five seasons with the Bantams.

C – CAPTAIN – A proven leader, the 28-year-old served as Bradford City’s captain for two seasons between 2014 and 2016 as while he also skippered the Liverpool youth team during his time at Anfield.

D – DEBUT – Wanderers fans will get their first glimpse of their latest signing when the Whites take on Chorley at Victory Park in their first pre-season friendly on Saturday, while he could make his maiden appearance at Macron Stadium against Stoke City later this month ahead of the start of the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship season.

E – EVER-PRESENT – Darby missed just one league game in his three seasons in Sky Bet League One under Phil Parkinson at Bradford City, finishing as an ever-present in both 2013/14 and 2015/16.

F – FLANKS – Predominantly a right-back, the defender is capable of playing on both flanks having also been utilised as left-back on occasions during his career.

G – GOAL – Boasting one professional goal to his name, his solitary strike came in extra-time against Burton Albion in September 2012 as Bradford recorded a 3-2 win in the Capital One Cup on their way to the final.

H – HONOURS – The defender’s efforts during the 2013/14 season saw Darby win the Bradford City Player of the Year award.

I – INTERNATIONAL – An England youth international, he represented England Under-19s during the 2007/08 season.

J – JOINING – By making the move to Macron Stadium, Darby joins Filipe Morais in following manager Phil Parkinson from Bradford City to Bolton.

K – KICK OFF – Darby is currently in line to make his competitive Wanderers debut against Leeds United when the Whites’ 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship season kicks off on Sunday 6 August.

L – LOANS – While still with Liverpool, he enjoyed loan stints with Swindon Town, Notts County and Rochdale.

M – MANAGER – Having first been signed by Phil Parkinson at Bradford City in July 2012, his move to Wanderers sees him reunited with his former Bantams manager.

N – NEW ARRIVAL – Darby is the third new face to make the move to Wanderers this summer after Mark Little and Will Buckley.

O – OCTOBER – The now 28-year-old was born October 6, 1988.

P – PROMOTION – He was a member of the Bradford side that won promotion to Sky Bet League One via the play-offs, beating Northampton Town 3-0 in the final at Wembley in 2013.

Q – QUALIFIERS – His two international appearances for England Under-19s came in UEFA European U19 Championship qualification against the Netherlands and Czech Republic in May 2007.

R – ROBINS – Darby’s first taste of football away from Anfield came with Swindon Town during the latter stages of the 2009/10 season. The defender made 15 appearances for the Robins after joining them in March 2010, including a substitute appearance in their League One Play-Off Final defeat to Millwall.

S – SPOT KICK – Despite scoring just one goal during his career, the defender is an accomplished penalty taker, stepping up when required in shoot outs. He scored the winning penalty to send Swindon Town into the Play-Off Final in 2010 as well as finding the back of the net for Bradford City when spot kicks were required to decide Capital One Cup and FA Cup ties.

T – TOP-FLIGHT – With one of his seven senior appearances for Liverpool coming in the Premier League, Darby came off the bench as a late substitute against Tottenham Hotspur to make his top-flight debut in January 2010.

U – UPSET – A member of the Bradford City side that reached the 2013 Capital One Cup Final, the defender is no stranger to being on the right side of a cup upset having helped knock out Premier League trio Arsenal, Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic on their way to Wembley. He also helped the Bantams reach the FA Cup quarter-finals in 2015, memorably recovering from 2-0 down to beat eventual Premier League champions Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge before seeing off top-flight Sunderland.

V – VICENTE CALDERON – Darby made his professional debut for Liverpool in the Champions League away at Atletico Madrid in October 2008.

W – WEMBLEY – Having twice tasted disappointment at Wembley after suffering defeat in both the 2010 League One Play-Off Final and 2013 Capital One Cup Final, it was third time lucky for Darby when Bradford beat Northampton Town to win promotion in the 2013 League Two Play-Off Final.

X – XABI ALONSO – A World Cup, two-time European Championships and two-time Champions League winner, Xabi Alonso was the player Darby replaced when coming on to make his Liverpool debut, joining the action as a 75th minute substitute against Atletico Madrid.

Y – YOUTH CUP – The defender was a member of the Liverpool side that won the FA Youth Cup in both 2006 and 2007, beating Manchester City and Manchester United in the finals respectively.

Z - ZERO – While his main focus will be on defending, Darby will be hoping his eight-year wait for a maiden league goal comes to an end during his debut season with Bolton Wanderers. 

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