Who is Man United legend Darren Fletcher?
Darren Barr Fletcher, who was born on 1 February 1984 in Dalkeith, is a Scottish former professional footballer. Fletcher played as a midfielder for the Premier League club Man United.
Darren came through the ranks of the Red Devils’ Youth Academy and spent 20 years with the club, playing 342 games for Man United. With Man United, Fletcher won 5 Premier Leagues, FA Cup, 2 League Cups, Champions League, 4 FA Community Shields and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Darren was included in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for 2009–10. Fletcher was named vice-captain in his last campaign with the Red Devils. Darren joined West Brom in winter 2015, where the midfielder played 97 games.
After leaving West Brom in 2017, Darren had a two-year stint with Stoke City. Fletcher returned to Man United in a coaching capacity in October 2020, working with the Red Devils’ U16s footballers, before being appointed to the first team in winter 2021.
The middle of the Scottish midfielder’s career was disrupted by an extended break from football due to health problems caused by ulcerative colitis, according to a report.
Between November 2011 and December 2013, Fletcher played just ten times for his club, undergoing an operation in early 2013 to lessen the effects of the condition after a failure to come back in September 2012.
Darren Fletcher’s international career
Darren established himself as a regular choice for the national team during the 2003–04 campaign. The Scottish midfielder scored his first goal in a 1–0 victory over Lithuania, having come off the bench for just his second cap. His goal took Scotland to the play-offs for UEFA Euro 2004.
In May 2004, Fletcher captained the national team to a 1–0 friendly victory over Estonia in Tallinn, making the midfielder the youngest Scotland captain since 17-year-old John Lambie in 1886.
Darren scored with a 25-yard strike in a 3–0 victory over Slovenia in October 2005. Darren was Scotland’s vice-captain under Alex McLeish, deputising in the absence of regular captain Barry Ferguson.
The Scottish midfielder was named as full-time captain in November 2009 when Ferguson was banned from international football for misbehaviour. Darren earned his 50th cap in September 2010 in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying game with Liechtenstein.
His bouts of illness interrupted his international career, which meant that Scott Brown assumed the captaincy. Darren was recalled to the international squad for a friendly with Poland in March 2014.
Fletcher resumed the captaincy in September 2016, after Brown had temporarily retired from international football.