Darren Potter

Darren Michael Potter (born 21 December 1984) is a former professional footballer. A midfielder, he made 502 league and cup appearances in a 16-year career in the Premier League and English Football League and won five caps for the Republic of Ireland.

Darren Potter
Darren Potter.jpg
Potter playing for Sheffield Wednesday in 2010.
Personal information
Full name Darren Michael Potter[1]
Date of birth (1984-12-21) 21 December 1984 (age 37)
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[2]
Position(s) Midfielder
Youth career
Everton
Blackburn Rovers
2001–2003 Liverpool
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2007 Liverpool 2 (0)
2006Southampton (loan) 10 (0)
2006Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan) 21 (0)
2007–2009 Wolverhampton Wanderers 35 (0)
2009Sheffield Wednesday (loan) 17 (2)
2009–2011 Sheffield Wednesday 79 (6)
2011–2017 Milton Keynes Dons 229 (9)
2017–2019 Rotherham United 17 (0)
2019–2020 Tranmere Rovers 12 (0)
2020 Altrincham 0 (0)
Total 422 (17)
National team
Republic of Ireland U21
2007–2008 Republic of Ireland 5 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

He began his career at Liverpool, making his senior debut in a UEFA Champions League qualifier in August 2004 in the first of his three appearances in that season's competition, which Liverpool would eventually win. He played a total of 17 games for Liverpool, though featured just twice in the Premier League, and spent 2006 on loan at Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers. He joined Wolves on a £250,000 transfer in January 2007. A first-team regular in the 2006–07 season, he lost his place the following season and spent the second half of the 2008–09 season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, before joining the club on a permanent basis for an undisclosed fee in July 2009. Wednesday were relegated out of the Championship in 2010 and Potter left the club by mutual consent in June 2011.

Potter signed with Milton Keynes Dons in June 2011 and would be named as the club's Player of the Year and on the PFA Team of the Year for the 2011–12 season. Promotion out of League One was secured with a second-place finish at the end of his fourth season at the club, though they would be relegated at the end of their maiden season in the Championship. He left the club at the end of the 2016–17 season and joined Rotherham United in June 2017. He suffered an achilles injury six months into his stay at Rotherham, which kept him out of action until the last game of the 2018–19 campaign. He spent the 2019–20 season with Tranmere Rovers and announced his retirement whilst at Altrincham in November 2020.

Club careerEdit

LiverpoolEdit

Born in Liverpool, Potter grew up in the Scotland Road area of the city.[3] He was released by Everton at the age of 15 and spent time in the youth-team at Blackburn Rovers before being signed to Liverpool in 2001.[4] He turned professional at Liverpool in April 2002.[4]

He made his senior debut for the "Reds" under the stewardship of Rafael Benítez on 10 August 2004, coming on as a late substitute for Steve Finnan in a UEFA Champions League qualifier against Austrian side Grazer AK, playing the last five minutes.[5] He started in the return fixture at Anfield 14 days later, in what ended as a 1–0 defeat though Liverpool advanced with a 2–1 aggregate victory.[6] He made his Premier League debut on 1 February, in a 2–1 win at Charlton Athletic.[7] He also featured in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, coming on as a substitute in the round of 16 home tie against Bayer Leverkusen.[8] Liverpool went on to beat Milan in the final, though only the matchday squad received winner's medals.[9] In total, he made 10 appearances in the 2004–05 season.[10]

"I am more comfortable in the middle than on the right, but you know that Steven Gerrard, the best player in Europe, Xabi Alonso and Didi Hamann are competing for those places, so it is not going to be easy playing there. But as far as I am concerned, I'd give an arm and a leg just to get a shirt in any position."

— Potter speaking in July 2005.[4]

The following season, he was involved in pre-season friendlies and the Champions League qualifying rounds but did not feature in the Premier League. He made a brief cameo in the group stages of the Champions League, playing in the final moments of a 0–0 draw with Real Betis.[11] On 26 January, he joined Championship side Southampton on loan for the remainder of the 2005–06 season.[2] He provided an assist for Kenwyne Jones on his "Saints" debut, a 1–0 victory at Leicester City in the FA Cup.[12] He made 12 appearances for George Burley's side, nine starts and three times appearing from the bench.[2][12]

Wolverhampton WanderersEdit

On 17 August 2006, Potter returned to the Championship on loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers for the 2006–07 season.[13] He scored his first career goal on 16 January, opening the scoring in a 2–0 victory at Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup.[14] The loan move was made permanent for a £250,000 fee just two days later, with Potter signing a three-and-a-half-year contract.[15] He played 44 games for Wolves during the campaign, helping the team to qualify for the play-offs, though they were eliminated at the semi-final stages by Black Country derby rivals West Bromwich Albion.[16]

His second season with Wolves was less successful though, and manager Mick McCarthy offered him the option of going on the transfer list during the January transfer window to seek more playing time at a new club.[17] Potter rejected the offer and remained at Molineux for the rest of the 2007–08 season, however the club transfer-listed him at its conclusion.[18] After finding no takers for him during the summer transfer window, he was taken off the transfer list and told to fight for his place.[19]

Sheffield WednesdayEdit

He failed to appear for his parent club during the first half of the 2008–09 season, and joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan in January, remaining there until the end of the season.[20] Potter scored for Brian Laws's "Owls" 16 minutes into his debut with a 30-yard drive into the bottom corner in a 4–1 win over Charlton at Hillsborough on 17 January.[21] His loan was made into a permanent deal on 10 July for an undisclosed fee.[22]

Potter scored his first goal of the 2009–10 season on 22 August, in a 4–0 win over newly-promoted Scunthorpe United.[23] His next goal was a left-footed curler in the bottom corner against Blackpool at Hillsborough on 9 February.[24] Potter added to his tally for the season with a volley against Wednesday's fierce rivals Sheffield United in the Steel City derby on 19 April.[25] Wednesday were relegated at the end of the season after new manager Alan Irvine failed to inspire an upturn in form.[26]

The club struggled to adapt to life in League One and brought in Gary Megson as manager in February 2011.[27] They ended the 2010–11 season in 15th-place, with Potter scoring four goals from 40 games. He also received the first red card of his career for a foul on Craig Mackail-Smith in a 5–3 defeat at Peterborough United on 1 February.[28]

Milton Keynes DonsEdit

On 24 June 2011, Potter signed a one-year contract for League One club Milton Keynes Dons after leaving Sheffield Wednesday by mutual consent.[29] He was sent off on his fourth appearance for the Dons, having received two yellow cards during a 1–0 win at Yeovil Town on 16 August.[30] He signed a new two-year contract in April 2012.[31] He played 49 games during the 2011–12 season, scoring three goals, Dons qualified for the play-offs with a fifth-place finish. However they were beaten 3–2 on aggregate by Huddersfield Town in the play-off semi-finals.[32] Potter was named on the PFA Team of the Year and as Milton Keynes Dons Player of the Year and Player's Player of the Year.[33]

The 2012–13 season would see a career high for appearances and goals, as he scored five goals from 55 games, though the club finished two places outside the play-off places. He was limited to 37 appearances at Stadium mk during the 2013–14 campaign. On 21 February 2014, Potter signed a new two-year contract extension.[34] The club secured promotion at the end of the 2014–15 season under the stewardship of Karl Robinson, finishing second to champions Bristol City.

In October 2015, Potter signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2017, with the option of another 12 months.[35] Dons lasted just one season in the Championship, being relegated after finishing 23rd in the 2015–16 season. Potter battle back from a knee injury to make 38 appearances that season, scoring once in a 5–1 home defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup.[36] On 24 April 2017, after six seasons, 266 appearances and 12 goals, Milton Keynes Dons announced that Potter would be leaving the club at the end of the 2016–17 season.[37]

Rotherham UnitedEdit

On 14 June 2017, Potter signed a two-year contract with Rotherham United.[38][39] He was rated as one of manager Paul Warne's best performers during the first half of the 2017–18 season.[40] However in December 2017 he suffered an achilles injury which required two operations, and which kept him out of action until the final match of the 2018–19 season.[41] He left the New York Stadium when his contract expired in June 2019.[42]

Tranmere RoversEdit

On 28 June 2019, Potter signed a one-year contract with Micky Mellon's Tranmere Rovers.[43] He made 15 appearances in the first half of the 2019–20 season, before Tranmere were relegated into League Two after the season was ended early due to the COVID-19 pandemic in England.

AltrinchamEdit

Potter signed a short-term deal with National League club Altrincham on 22 October 2020.[44] He played for the "Reds" in an FA Cup qualifying defeat at AFC Fylde three days later.[45] He left the club in less than a week and later announced his retirement on 17 November to become a coach at Port Vale.[46]

International careerEdit

Potter was capped multiple times for Republic of Ireland youth teams – appearing at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship[47] – and later made his debut for Ireland's senior team in a friendly against Ecuador in Giants Stadium, New York on 23 May 2007.[48] He was given his debut by Steve Staunton and would win a total of five caps, the last one coming under the caretaker stewardship of Don Givens in a friendly defeat to Brazil at Croke Park in February 2008.[49]

Style of playEdit

Potter was a midfielder with good tackling, leadership and ball retention skills.[33]

Career statisticsEdit

Club statisticsEdit

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Liverpool 2004–05[10] Premier League 2 0 1 0 4 0 3[a] 0 10 0
2005–06[50] Premier League 0 0 0 0 1 0 6[a] 0 7 0
Liverpool total 2 0 1 0 5 0 9 0 17 0
Southampton (loan) 2005–06[50] Championship 10 0 2 0 0 0 12 0
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2006–07[51] Championship 38 0 3 1 1 0 2[b] 0 44 1
2007–08[52] Championship 18 0 3 0 2 0 23 0
2008–09[53] Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wolverhampton Wanderers total 56 0 8 1 3 0 2 0 67 1
Sheffield Wednesday (loan) 2008–09[53] Championship 17 2 0 0 0 0 17 2
Sheffield Wednesday 2009–10[54] Championship 46 3 1 0 2 0 49 3
2010–11[55] League One 33 3 2 1 2 0 3[c] 0 40 4
Sheffield Wednesday total 96 8 3 1 4 0 3 0 106 9
Milton Keynes Dons 2011–12[56] League One 40 2 3 1 3 0 3[d] 0 49 3
2012–13[57] League One 46 4 6 1 3 0 0 0 55 5
2013–14[58] League One 29 0 3 0 3 0 1[c] 0 37 0
2014–15[59] League One 40 2 4 0 2 0 1[c] 0 47 2
2015–16[60] Championship 37 0 1 1 0 0 38 1
2016–17[61] League One 37 1 3 0 0 0 1[e] 0 41 1
Milton Keynes Dons total 229 9 18 3 10 0 6 0 267 12
Rotherham United 2017–18[62] League One 16 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 18 0
2018–19[63] Championship 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Rotherham United total 17 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 19 0
Tranmere Rovers 2019–20[64] League One 12 0 2 0 1 0 2[e] 0 15 0
Altrincham 2019–20[65] National League 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Career totals 422 17 34 5 24 0 22 0 502 22
  1. ^ a b Appearances in Champions League
  2. ^ Appearances in Championship play-offs
  3. ^ a b c Appearances in Football League Trophy
  4. ^ Appearance in Football League Trophy, 2 appearances in League One play-offs
  5. ^ a b Appearance(s) in the EFL Trophy

International statisticsEdit

Republic of Ireland national team[66]
Year Apps Goals
2007 4 0
2008 1 0
Total 5 0

HonoursEdit

Liverpool

Milton Keynes Dons

Individual

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Notification of shirt numbers: Tranmere Rovers" (PDF). English Football League. p. 73. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Chalk, Gary; Holley, Duncan; Bull, David (2013). All the Saints: A Complete Players' Who's Who of Southampton FC. Southampton: Hagiology Publishing. p. 434. ISBN 978-0-9926-8640-6.
  3. ^ Potter hoping to become Reds' new wing wizard Archived 21 September 2014 at archive.today Mark Platt 26 July 2005. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Liverpool career stats for Darren Potter - LFChistory - Stats galore for Liverpool FC!". www.lfchistory.net. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  5. ^ "Matchdetails from Grazer AK - Liverpool played on Tuesday 10 August 2004 - LFChistory - Stats galore for Liverpool FC!". www.lfchistory.net. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  6. ^ "A disappointing performance, yet does the job - LFChistory - Stats galore for Liverpool FC!". www.lfchistory.net. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
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  8. ^ "Liverpool 3–1 Bayer Leverkusen". BBC Sport. 22 February 2005. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  9. ^ "'It isn't disappointing to have no medal, I was happy being at Liverpool'". Off The Ball. 25 May 2020. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
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  14. ^ "Oldham 0-2 Wolves". BBC Sport. 16 January 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
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  47. ^ FIFA World Youth Championship 2003 Retrieved 21 September 2014.
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  62. ^ "Games played by Darren Potter in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  63. ^ "Games played by Darren Potter in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  64. ^ "Games played by Darren Potter in 2019/2020". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  65. ^ Darren Potter at Soccerway
  66. ^ "Darren Potter". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  67. ^ Gandini, Luca (2 June 2016). "European Champions' Club Cup/UEFA Champions League winning squads". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
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  69. ^ "Arsenal striker Robin van Persie named PFA Player of the Year". BBC Sport. 22 April 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  70. ^ a b "Darren Potter scores awards hat-trick". Milton Keynes Citizen. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2018.