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Bradford City AFC Player Profiles

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UPDATED 03:03 16th July 2012

A truly likeable Liverpudlian, Stephen Darby arrived at Valley Parade after completing his medical to put pen to paper on a two year deal with the Bantams, becoming Parkinson's seventh signing of the summer of 2012 in the process. Darby joined City on a free transfer after leaving Premier League giants Liverpool earlier in the summer. The Liverpool-born defender started his professional career with the Merseyside giants after coming through the ranks at Anfield. Despite his strong Liverpool connections, Darby's most recent league action before his move to City came during a season-long loan in League 1 with Rochdale the previous campaign. Along with his time at Spotland, Darby has also enjoyed loan spells in League 1 with Notts County and Swindon Town earlier in his career. The defender also has two England Under 19 caps to his name. Darby played in the Liverpool F.A Youth Cup winning teams of 2006 and 2007 - skippering the 2006 side. On both occasions he played alongside former Bantams defender Robbie Threlfall. He received his first senior call up for the Reds in December 2006 when he was named as an unused substitute for their Champions League fixture at Turkish side Galatasaray. Darby would eventually make his bow in Europe's elite competition, however, playing against Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven in 2008 and Fiorentina a year later. His appearances against Madrid and Eindhoven were from the bench, but he was handed a starting berth for the Fiorentina fixture. Darby's date in Madrid was actually his senior debut for Liverpool, with his domestic bow coming a month later when he came on as a second half substitute at Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup. His Premier League debut also came against Spurs, that time as a late sub during a match at Anfield in January 2010. Darby's final appearance for Liverpool came in July of the same year when he came off the bench to feature in the Reds' Europa League qualifier at Macedonian side ZFK Rabotnicki Kometal. The right back also captained the reserves to the northern and national championships in the 2007/08 season during his Liverpool days. Darby’s maiden season at Valley Parade would prove to be a hugely successful one. After initially finding himself out of the team in the early stages of the season, Darby eventually became one of City’s most consistent performers of the season. The right back featured in all of the club’s key matches on their way to the Capital One Cup Final, while he also played every minute of City’s successful League 2 Play-Off campaign. As a show of appreciation for his high level of performances throughout the campaign, Darby was voted as the club’s Player’s Player of the Year for the 2012/2013 campaign. Following another consistent season for Darby, the right back swept the board at the club’s Player of the Year awards evening after the 2013/2014 campaign. Not only did Darby retain his Players’ Player of the Year title, Darby also won every other award he qualified for, including the main Player of the Year trophy. Off the back of his achievements during the previous season, Darby was rewarded with a new three-year contract in June 2014 and handed the captaincy for the 2014/2015 season.