Youth team product Darel Russell made his debut for Norwich on
the last day of the 1997/98 season against Reading. Although Darel
made another 13 league appearances in 1998/99, he made a place
in central midfield his own in 1999/2000. His impressive form
had brought him attention from Premiership side Coventry. Gordon
Strachan was rumoured to be making an offer even though Darel
had played less than 40 first team games (Sport First 28th
November 1999). On Sunday 16th April 2000, the Sunday People
suggested that Newcastle manager Bobby Robson was interested in
Darel and was hoping to swap him for Garry
Brady. Unfortunately the People reported Darel as being Daryl
Powell ! Darel was linked with a move to Ipswich on May 3rd 2001
along with Andy Marshall with both
players allegedly watched by George Burley in the last Norwich
home match of the season against Sheffield Wednesday on 28th April
2001. This reumour resurfaced in June 2001 with sources at Ipswich
claiming that they had made an approach for an unnamed Division
One midfielder - thought to be either David Prutton of Forest
Russell followed Phil Mulryne in rejecting
a new contract offer from the Canaries in February 2002, leaving
him out of contract in the summer. Unlike Mulryne, Darel is under
24 and any transfer would go to a tribunal resulting in a payment
to Carrow Road. Based upon his performance against Watford on
26th February 2002, Darel will be lucky to receive a contract
offer from any decent sized or ambitious side as his performance
was strictly second division ! Failure to come to agreement with
the Canaries saw Darel officially transfer listed at the end of
Darel then went on a weekly contract with the Canaries. He returned
to first team action in September 2002 following injuries to Mark
Rivers and Alex Notman. However he
suffered a broken toe in the 2-0 victory ar Reading on 18th September
2002 and missed approximately 6-8weeks. He finished the season
with just 24 appearances.
Darel rejected the club's offer of a new contract in June 2003
and was placed on a week-to-week contract. His age means that
Norwich would be entitled to any compensation under the Bosman
ruling if he was to find a new club. Under these circumstances,
Norwich did well to sell him in a surprise move to Stoke on August
8th 2003 for £125,000. Norwich are also understood to have
protected themselves further with a sell-on clause believed to
be worth 30 per cent of any future transfer fee.
"We wish Darel all the very best of luck with his new
club," said Canary boss Nigel
Worthington. "Unfortunately, Darel turned down the
offer of a good, long contract with us on two separate occasions.
We were then forced to put him on a week-to-week deal in order
to protect the club's interests - and to ensure he did not leave
the club on a free transfer. He's been a pleasure to work with
and we wish him all the best."
Ironically Russell was seen by Stoke as a replacement for James
O'Connor for whom Norwich bid in July 2003 but lost out to WBA.
Both Norwich and Stoke then set their targets on Damien
Francis with whom the Canaries were successful. Russell was
joined at the Britannia Stadium this morning by Wolves defender
Keith Andrews, who agreed a three-month loan. "We are
delighted to sign these two players," said Stoke boss
Tony Pulis. "They are both young and strong with great
Darel's fine form for Stoke ironically benefitted the Canaries
as he scored the first goal in Stoke's 4-1 defeat of West Brom
on 4th May 2004. This defeat for the Baggies gave the Division
One title to the Canaries.
Darel returned to Carrow Road in August 2007 for a fee reported
to be £410,000 and signed a three year contact with the
Canaries. He had made 171 appearances for Stoke, scoring 16 times.
He made his second debut for the Canaries in the 0-0 draw at Preston
on the opening day of the 2007/8 season.
The News of the World speculated on 18th November 2007
that Russell was a target for Crystal Palace's new manager Neil
In July 2009, Russell was linked with a £400,000 move to
Premiership newboys Burnley. His departure from Carrow Road was
expected as he had been excluded from pre-season matches. Instead
he established himself in the first team under Paul
Lambert and made 39 appearances, scoring twice, as Norwich
won the League One title.
Failure to agree a new contract with City saw Russell leave on
1st July 2010 when his contract expired. He was linked with a
move to Leeds and Bolton (who were managed by former Burnley boss
Owen Coyle). In July 2010, Darel entered into talks with Preston
and signed a three year deal with them on 4th August 2010. "It
was a no-brainer from a footballing point of view," said
Russell. "This looks like a club that are trying to play
in the right way. They have the right mentality of trying to bring
the young lads through and progress that way. The plan for every
team is to try and reach that promised land. My aims and ambitions
are exactly the same and I am sure from speaking to Darren Ferguson
that he is very enthusiastic about doing that and achieving that
as soon as possible."
Darel and Preston were relegated to League One on 25th April
2011 following a 1-0 home defeat to Cardiff.
Russell joined Charlton on loan on 24th November 2011 until 5th
January 2012. He had made just 4 appearances for Preston during
the first part of the 2011/12 season. This was extended until
the end of the season. Charlton won promotion to the Championship
on 15th April 2012 with a 1-0 win at Carlisle but Russell did
not play as he was suspended for receiving a red card at Huddersfield.
Placed on the transfer list by Preston manager Graham Westley,
Russell offered in early July 2012 to cancel his contract by mutual
consent so he could move on. This happened on 13th July 2012,
and Russell left Preston having made just 27 league appearances.
Darel joined Portsmouth on 31st August 2012 on a one month contract
along with Australian midfielder Johnny Ertl and former Celtic
youngster Josh Thompson. Russell made his debut the following
day in a 1-0 defeat at home to Oldham.
Russell left Portsmouth on 27th January 2013 and in February
2013, joined MLS side Toronto on trial. Darel had made 18 appearances
for Pompey. The trial was successful and Russell signed for Toronto
on 1st March 2013, Another Toronto signing was Robert
Earnshaw. Russell scored his first goal for Toronto in a 2-2
draw with FC Dallas on 6th April 2013.
Released by Toronto in December 2013, Darel signed a two year
contract with NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies on 27th February 2014.
A teammate will be Carl Cort