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Darren Fletcher

Darren Barr Fletcher (born 1 February 1984 in Dalkeith, Scotland) is a Scotland association footballer currently playing for Premier League club Manchester United F.C.. A product of United's famous youth academy, Fletcher initially struggled to break into the first team but now regularly features in the midfield. Darren Fletcher has also captained the Scotland national team in the absence of then regular captain Barry Ferguson making Darren Fletcher one of the youngest players ever to captain Scotland at full international level. With Ferguson banned from international football after a breach of regulations, Fletcher was given the captain's armband in August 2009.

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Darren Fletcher biography


Darren Barr Fletcher (born 1 February 1984 in Dalkeith, Scotland) is a Scotland association footballer currently playing for Premier League club Manchester United F.C.. A product of United's famous youth academy, Fletcher initially struggled to break into the first team but now regularly features in the midfield. Darren Fletcher has also captained the Scotland national team in the absence of then regular captain Barry Ferguson making Darren Fletcher one of the youngest players ever to captain Scotland at full international level. With Ferguson banned from international football after a breach of regulations, Fletcher was given the captain's armband in August 2009.

Club career

Fletcher has been at Manchester United for Darren Fletcher whole career coming up from the youth team. Fletcher joined Manchester United as a trainee in July 2000 and Darren Fletcher signed a professional contract in February 2001. Darren Fletcher was initially seen as a midfielder Right/left midfielders in the David Beckham mould and was tipped by many to break into the first team with ease and stay there for many years to come. Darren Fletcher first few seasons at the club, however, were marred by injury, and as Darren Fletcher developed came to be viewed more as a central midfielder.

Fletcher broke into the Manchester United team during the 2003-04 in English football campaign, playing a number of important matches and starting in United's FA Cup Final win over Millwall F.C. in May 2004.

Despite a slow start to the 2004-05 in English football campaign, in which in the early part of the season Darren Fletcher made very few competitive appearances, Fletcher again broke into the United first team. On 1 January 2005, Fletcher scored Darren Fletcher first goal at club level in a 2–0 win over Middlesbrough F.C..

Fletcher was one of the players singled out for criticism by club captain Roy Keane in the wake of United's 4–1 defeat to Middlesbrough in October 2005. Keane reportedly said, "I can't understand why people in Scotland rave about Darren Fletcher." However, Keane later attempted to set the record straight stating, "If you listen to any of my comments over the last two or three years, if I've given any player credit over the years it would be Fletch. Fletch will tell you that himself." Fletcher went some way towards answering Darren Fletcher critics on 6 November 2005, with Darren Fletcher performance in the vital league match at home to Chelsea F.C., scoring the only goal of the game with a looping header. Darren Fletcher winning goal ended Chelsea's forty-match unbeaten run in the Premier League. Fletcher notched Darren Fletcher second goal of the season opening the scoring from close range against Portsmouth F.C., following a pass from Patrice Evra. Darren Fletcher was later shown a yellow card on the 93rd minute before the match ended 1–0. On 3 October 2008, Fletcher signed a three-year extension to Darren Fletcher contract with Man Utd, keeping Darren Fletcher at the club until 2012. Fletcher notched Darren Fletcher third goal of the season against Everton F.C. on 25 October. Darren Fletcher then went onto to score in the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup semi-final against Gamba Osaka on 18 December 2008 after coming off the bench. In the Champions League semi-final second leg against Arsenal F.C. on 5 May 2009, Fletcher was shown a red card ruling Darren Fletcher out of the Champions League Final. There have been calls for this decision to be overturned, but apart from mistaken identity, there is no appeal procedure for red cards in UEFA competition. Manchester United launched an appeal with UEFA to have the semi final red card overturned on 'compassionate' grounds on 7 May 2009, but this was rejected on 11 May.

International career

Fletcher has established himself as a regular choice for Scotland and scored Darren Fletcher first goal in a 1-0 win over Lithuania national football team, having come off the bench for only Darren Fletcher second cap (football). Darren Fletcher goal took Scotland to the play-offs for 2004 European Football Championship. On 26 May 2004, Darren Fletcher captained Scotland to a 1-0 friendly win against Estonia national football team in Tallinn. This made Darren Fletcher the youngest Scotland captain since John Lambie (Queen's Park) of Queen's Park F.C. led the side that beat Ireland national football team (IFA) 7-2 on Saturday, 20 March 1886. Lambie was aged just 17 years and 92 days.

Fletcher's improvement for Darren Fletcher national side was capped by a 25-metre strike in an October 2005 World Cup qualifier against Slovenia national football team. Fletcher was Scotland's vice-captain under Alex McLeish, deputising in the absence of regular captain Barry Ferguson, but following then the removal of Barry Ferguson as captain in 2009, Fletcher was named as full time captain in August 2009.

International goals



Personal life

Fletcher is the father of twin boys, Jack and Tyler (born 2007) with English girlfriend, Hayley Grice.
Darren Fletcher was one of many footballers in the Manchester and Liverpool area whose home was robbed while playing away games when thieves raided Darren Fletcher house in February 2009. Grice was held at knifepoint by the thieves . The incident occurred while Fletcher was in Milan for Manchester United's Champions League fixture against F.C. Internazionale Milano.

Fletcher is involved in a programme to encourage "Deaf Friendly Football" for youngsters. The programme is run by the Manchester United Foundation and the National Deaf Children's Society.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darren_Fletcher

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