Darren Way is a midfielder from Plymouth whose injuries curtailed
a promising start to his career. He joined Norwich as an associate
schoolboy in 1994 and progressed through the youth and reserve
team ranks. He played for England Under-16's (Schoolboys) six
times during the 1995/1996 season. He signed a one year professional
contract in May 1999 and had sat on the bench for first team matches.
In March 2000, Darren played on trial for Bristol Rovers' reserves
after being told that Norwich would no longer keep him on their
books. He was freed from his contract on April 26th 2000, having
made only 6 appearances for Norwich reserves in 1999/2000. In
May 2000, Darren played in a trial match for Plymouth against
Yeovil. He returned to Bristol in June 2000 to spend the pre-season
training with Bristol Rovers and hoping to win a permanent transfer.
On 18th August, he joined his former Norwich City youth team mate
Barrington Belgrave at Yeovil and won
the Player of the Month award for September 2000. Yeovil's valiant
battle for the Conference title ended only on May 1st when they
lost 3-2 at Hereford thus gifting the Conference title to Rushden
Darren was called up for the England National Game XI (the semi-professional
international side) for their 11 February 2003 friendly against
Belgium. However illness prevented an appearance.
Yeovil won the Conference Championship on April 12th 2003 when
rivals Chester could only draw with Woking. They celebrated in
style beating Doncaster 4-0 at Belle Vue with Way scoring the
opening goal. Now Darren will face a new challenge - Division
Darren's impressive form for Yeovil in 2004/5 saw him named in
the League Two Divisional team of the season
On 20th January 2006, he departed Yeovil after five and a half
years to sign for Swansea City for a transfer fee of £150,000.
His spell in Wales was beset by injury and he started just six
league games. He spent a loan period with Yeovil during the 2007/8
season. On 8th July 2008, he joined them on a two year contract.
"I think it's one of the most important signings in the
club's history - we needed that boost," manager Russell
Slade told BBC Somerset. Way added: "It's good to come
back home and I'm looking forward to it."
Darren was involved in a serious car accident on 17th December
2008. His injuries included a broken left femur, broken left kneecap,
broken and dislocated right elbow, broken and dislocated left
hip, multiple fractures of right wrist, damage to right hand,
ruptured left bicep, deep cuts to both shins and soft tissue damage.
Darren was forced to retire from the professional game on 4 February.
Despite nine operations, he was forced to admit defeat and will
take up a role as a technical coach with Yeovil as he had been
helping manager Terry Skiverton.
Way said: It has been a long process from the day that
I had the accident to where I am now. There has been a lot of
trauma with that and I have had a lot of operations. I have had
to deal with the mental aspect of that as well as the physical
side. I have trained hard and it is not an easy decision to make.
I have not cut any corners and I can put my hand on my heart.
My family can see how hard I have worked so it has not been taken
lightly. There have been times where I have been with my little
boy just kicking a ball about and my right leg has been sore.
My hip does not feel right and that is one of the main reasons
why I have made this decision. As a footballer you obviously have
to kick a ball and I cannot do that.
On 4th February 2015, Yeovil manager Gary Johnson was relieved
of his duties with the club at the bottom of League One. Former
manager Terry Skiverton took temporary charge until the end of
the 2014/15 season with Way appointed as his assistant. However
Paul Sturrock was appointed manager on 9th April 2015 and Way
returned to being first team coach (with Skiverton as Assistant
Manager). The gamle didn't work and Yeovil had a second succesive
relegation when they drew with fellow strugglers Notts County
on 11th April 2015.
Way was appointed as interim manager on 1st December 2015 when Paul Sturrock was sacked with Yeovil in the League Two relegation zone having gone twelve games without victory. On 31st December 2016, this was made permanent.