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Darren Patterson (born 15 October 1969 in Belfast) is a former youth team coach, assistant manager and caretaker manager of Bristol Rovers.

Darren Patterson

Darren Patterson while manager of Oxford United

Darren was originally brought to Rovers to head up the youth system, being appointed to the position in May 2009, but following the departure of Director of Football Lennie Lawrence from the club at the end of the 2009–10 season he was appointed as assistant manager to Paul Trollope. The Trollope/Patterson partnership was short-lived, thanks to Trollope being relieved of his managerial duties in December 2010, with the board citing poor results and falling attendances as the reason for his being placed on 'gardening leave'. Patterson was given the caretaker-manager position until a replacement gaffer had been found. He remained in charge for just two games, both of them defeats, before Dave Penney was appointed and Darren reverted to his role as assistant. Shortly afterwards Martin Foyle was brought in to the club as first team coach, so Darren was moved to a position in the youth setup, replacing Jerry Gill as coach of the under-18 side, who was released in the re-shuffle.

Patterson left Rovers in June 2011 to become assistant manager of Rotherham United, where he linked up with former Oxford teammate Andy Scott.

Playing career[]

Darren was a defender during a playing career which saw him on the books of eight different clubs in England and Scotland. He began his playing days with West Bromwich Albion in the late 1980s, but failed to make any first team appearances for them. He moved to Wigan Athletic in 1989, where he was able to settle into the team and during a three-year spell he went on to make 97 league appearances for them, scoring six times.

In 1992 Crystal Palace paid Wigan £225,000 for Darren's services and he went on to play for them in the fledgling Premier League. He remained a fringe player in the Palace side however and made just 22 league appearances for them in three years. In spite of this The Eagles made a profit on his transfer fee when he joined Luton Town for £230,000 in August 1995, and although he did get more time on the pitch with Luton he still failed to establish himself as a regular first teamer. Luton sent him out on loan to Preston North End for a very brief spell in 1996, where he played just two games, whereupon he returned to The Hatters. He went on to make a total of 57 League appearances for Luton before moving to Scotland to play for Dundee United in 1998.

Darren made 30 appearances in the SPL during his two-year stint with The Terrors, and rounded his playing career off with a brief spell at York City and just over a year playing for Oxford United. He was a full Northern Ireland international, and was awarded 17 caps between 1994 and 1999, scoring a single goal in the games that he played.

Career stats[]

Season Club League
Apps Goals
1988–89 West Bromwich Albion 0 0
1989–90 Wigan Athletic 29 1
1990–91 Wigan Athletic 28 4
1991–92 Wigan Athletic 40 1
1992–93 Crystal Palace 0 0
1993–94 Crystal Palace 0 0
1994–95 Crystal Palace 22 1
1995–96 Luton Town 23 0
1996–97 Luton Town 10 0
1996–97 Preston North End (loan) 2 0
1997–98 Luton Town 23 0
1998–99 Dundee United 19 0
1999–00 Dundee United 0 0
2000–01 Dundee United 0 0
2000–01 York City 6 0
2000–01 Oxford United 18 1
2001–02 Oxford United 2 0

Managerial career[]

Following the end of his playing career at Oxford United Darren stayed on with the club as a coach. Although Darren only has a relatively small number of games under his belt as a manager, he has actually been in charge of a football club four times in his career. He has been manager of Oxford United three times, once as caretaker and twice as the manager proper, and has also been caretaker boss at Bristol Rovers.

He is notable for having one of the shortest spells as gaffer in British football, when he was appointed as Oxford boss on 14 March 2006 before being relieved of his duties just eight days later following the sale of the club to a new owner.

Career stats[]

From To Club Pld W D L % Won
14 November 2004 9 December 2004 Oxford United (caretaker) 3 1 0 2 33.3
14 March 2006 22 March 2006 Oxford United 3 1 2 0 33.3
9 November 2007 30 November 2008 Oxford United 59 24 11 24 40.7
15 December 2010 10 January 2011 Bristol Rovers (caretaker) 2 0 0 2 0.0

Record at Rovers[]

Season Comp Pld W D L F A GD[1] Pts[1] Pos[1][2] Round reached[3]
2010–11 League One 2 0 0 2 2 5 -3 0
Total League 2 0 0 2 2 5 -3 0
All 2 0 0 2 2 5
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 League games only
  2. Finishing position for completed seasons only
  3. Cup competitions only