1131 Karl Darlow

Biography

Goalkeeper Karl Darlow joined the Tigers in January 2023 on a half season loan to compete with Matt Ingram for the first team shirt following injury to another loan keeper Nathan Baxter. Darlow sat on the first team bench four times before an injury to Ingram handed Karl his debut away at Bristol City, where he impressed with an assured command of his defence and penalty box. Darlow kept his place for the rest of the season and was the subject to much transfer talk as the summer months approached, but rumoured permanent switch to Hull City never transpired.

Karl Darlow was born in Northampton, the grandson of Welsh international forward Ken Leek who represented his country in the 1958 World Cup finals in Brazil. Karl came through the junior ranks at Aston Villa until his release at the age of 16 when he switched to Championship side Nottingham Forest. By 2010 Darlow was impressing for the Forest reserve side and being used as first team goalkeeping substitute, he made his first team debut in May 2011 when he came on as substitute in the last game of the season against Crystal Palace. Returning to the reserves Karl spent the last two months of the 2011/12 season on loan at Conference National side Newport County where he made eight appearances.

Darlow started a senior fixture for the first time in August 2012 when selected by manager Sean O’Driscoll between the posts for a League Cup tie against Fleetwood Town. He joined Walsall on a two month loan in September 2012 and made eight appearances, then returned to the Saddlers for a second loan at the start of January 2013, adding two further appearances. However after two weeks of his second Walsall loan, parent club Nottingham Forest recalled Karl and put him in the first team for the remainder of the season. Darlow kept his first team place throughout the 2013/14 season, missing only a handful of games and attracting the attention of Premier League scouts. By the 2014 close season Darlow had totalled 67 appearances for the City Ground side.

In August 2014 Karl joined Premier League side Newcastle United in a combined deal with defender Jamal Lascelles that saw both players loaned back to Forest for the 2014/15 season. Darlow added a further 44 appearances for Forest that season before making his Newcastle debut in an August 2015 League Cup tie against his hometown club Northampton Town. He made his Premier League debut for the Magpies in late December 2015 at West Bromwich Albion and was handed a first team start for the last eight matches of that season as the North East side were relegated to the Championship. Darlow was first choice goalkeeper for much of the 2016/17 season as the Magpies bounced straight back to the top flight, winning the Championship title. However for the next six seasons he played a peripheral role as Newcastle drifted around the middle reaches of the Premier League. When new Middle East investment came to the club in 2022 England goalkeeper Nick Pope was signed and Karl fell further down the pecking order. When he joined Hull City on loan in January 2023 he had made precisely 100 appearances for the Magpies in seven and a half seasons.

Darlow was a transfer target for Hull City during the 2023 close season but the transfer fee and wages package demanded was beyond the financial means of the club. In July 2023 he signed for Championship rivals Leeds United on a two year deal in return for a £350,000 fee, making his debut in an August 2023 League Cup tie against Shrewsbury Town and sitting on the bench for Championship games.

Darlow qualified to play for Wales through his grandfather and former Welsh international Ken Leek, however he rebuffed approaches from the Welsh FA in 2013 and 2018 in the hope that he might be selected for his birth country England, a call-up that never came.

Details

Nationality: England
Date/Place of Birth: 8 October 1990, Northampton
Hull City First Game: 25 February 2023, Bristol City A (Championship), 32 years, 140 days old
Hull City Final Game: 29 April 2023, Swansea City H (Championship), 32 years, 203 days old

Clubs

Nottingham Forest (2006-2014), Newport County (2012, loan), Walsall (2012, loan), Walsall (2013, loan), Newcastle United (2014-2023), Nottingham Forest (2014-2015, loan), Hull City (2023, loan), Leeds United (2023-current)

Hull City Record

Career: 12 apps, 0 goals

Karl Darlow
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2022/2312 (0)0

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