Darren Hare

*Indicates unconfirmed information. Figures in brackets after English team names indicate all appearances made and goals scored in competitive matches for Football League clubs from 1888 onwards. For Scottish League clubs the figures show details of all competitive appearances and goals scored from 1946/47 onwards.

Darren Hare

Appearances: 4 Goals: 1

Date / Year of birth: 2nd April 1967

Position: Striker

Season of first appearance: 1986/87

Season of last appearance: 1986/87

Also played for: Gillingham, Dover, Dover Athletic, Gravesend & Northfleet, Ashford Town, Canterbury City, Hastings Town, Quitan (Hong Kong), Kent University Reserves, Snowdown Colliery Welfare, Folkestone Invicta, Herne Bay and Sittingbourne

6' 2" tall striker born in Canterbury who was the son of well-known Kent football figure Roy Hare.

Darren started his career in Dover's youth team during the 1982/83 season and also played for Gillingham's youth side at that time. He progressed to Dover's first team during 1983/84 and played for the Kent youth team before joining Gravesend & Northfleet a few weeks before the end of 1983/84.

After scoring twice in seven appearances for Gravesend Darren returned to Dover towards the end of 1984 and in the summer of 1985 he had a trial at Gillingham. On 8.8.85 he scored a hat-trick as the Gills won 6-1 in a friendly at Thanet. Darren stayed at Crabble until January 1986 when he signed for Ashford.

He was Ashford's leading scorer for the 1985/86 season and Darren was considered to be one of the most dangerous strikers in Kent when he joined Thanet in October 1986.

His signing was touted as a major coup and United manager John Wickens said "I am looking to him to score a few goals." Darren played his first match in a 2-0 defeat at Burnham & Hillingdon on 11.10.86 and the Thanet Times said he had "a pleasing debut". Wickens said "I was particularly pleased with Darren's first game." On 22.10.86 he scored with a deft header in a 3-3 draw at Tonbridge in the Eastern Floodlight Cup, it was Darren's third appearance and turned out to be his only goal for Thanet. He played once more, in a 2-0 win at Chatham on 25.10.86, but then picked up an injury that put him out of action. Darren told Wickens that he wanted to be fit for United's Kent Senior Cup tie at Ashford on 11.11.86 but when the Thanet boss rang him on the day of the game Darren told him that he was going to rejoin Ashford. In its report on Darren's swift departure the Isle of Thanet Gazette said that he had signed "amid a metaphorical fanfare of trumpets" and United secretary Don Bennett said "his departure took manager John Wickens by complete surprise." He went on to say "no explanation was given but I understand he left on amicable terms." Wickens himself said "it has left me mystified...he seemed very pleased with the general set-up at the club and with his fellow players." The Thanet Times later said that Darren's brief spell with United had been "undistinguished".

Darren finished the 1986/87 campaign as Ashford's leading scorer for the second season running and during 1987/88 he had trials with Manchester City.

After scoring a total of 40 goals in 86 Southern League appearances for Ashford he moved to Canterbury for the start of the 1988/89 campaign and scored three goals in eight Southern League appearances for City during the early part of the season. Then in November 1988 Darren returned to Dover.

In the summer of 1989 Dover sold him to Hastings for a fee of £2,000.

At the end of September 1990 Darren returned to Canterbury in a straight swap deal that involved former Thanet striker Ian Kuypers joining Hastings but towards the end of 1990/91 Darren went back to Hastings once more.

In the summer of 1991 he rejoined Canterbury as player-coach but within weeks Darren left the club again and signed for Quitan of Hong Kong's 1st Division.

During the early part of 1992/93 he played for Kent University Reserves in the Kent County League alongside former Thanet United midfielder Steve Luckett but Darren soon moved on to Snowdown, also in the County League.

In March 1993 Darren signed for Herne Bay where he spent the remainder of the 1992/93 campaign.

Darren later went back to Canterbury yet again, once more as player-coach, and continued in that role until becoming City's youngest ever manager during the 1995/96 campaign. He was just 28 and still playing regularly. At that time Darren was also working as the Kent County Football Association's Youth Development Officer.

Darren joined Folkestone Invicta as player-manager for the start of the 1996/97 season but he was sacked after only three months in the role. He returned to the club as a player only later in the campaign. Darren went back to Canterbury as a player for the 1997/98 season before retiring at the end of the campaign aged only 31.

He went on to become a qualified coach and during 2004/05 Darren was in charge of youth development at Gillingham. In December 2004 he had a brief spell as caretaker manager of the Gills' first team after his brother-in-law Andy Hessenthaler stepped down. Shortly after that, on 8.1.05, Darren made a surprise comeback as a player aged 37 when he turned out for Herne Bay in a Kent League game at Deal. He scored twice in a 3-2 win and made two further appearances, one as a substitute, before the end of the 2004/05 season without adding to his goal tally.

In June 2005 Darren left Gillingham to take up a senior position at the Crystal Palace Football Academy.

The start of the 2005/06 campaign saw him continuing his playing comeback, as Darren stepped up a level to join Sittingbourne. However by November 2005 he was back at Herne Bay. Darren had left the club by the end of the season and retired once more.

In June 2007 he became assistant manager at Dover - working alongside Andy Hessenthaler once again. Darren initially combined the role with his work as Education and Welfare Officer at Crystal Palace but left Palace in 2008 and began working as a PE teacher.

In May 2010 Darren left Dover to become manager of Gillingham's youth team, following Hessenthaler back to Priestfield after he'd been reappointed as the Gills' manager.

In the first three months of 2011 Darren suffered three heart attacks but he was back in his role as the Gills' Head of Youth by the end of 2011.

His son Josh was part of Gillingham's Academy during 2011/12 and had a loan spell with Whitstable that season.










1986/87 (TUFC)

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