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CLUB LEGENDS: Darren Orchard

Darren was born in Poole and educated in Ferndown along with his brother Scott who was also to play for the Hammers, but as a defender. What is very difficult to find these days in Football is loyalty, and Darren was certainly loyal. At his peak and being a prolific goal scorer he could certainly have taken his skills elsewhere, and where he would certainly have been well paid for doing so. He was first spotted playing Sunday League Football by Andy James, who after seeing Darren’s goal scoring abilities tried to get him to sign for Hamworthy United. As previously stated Darren is very loyal and refused Andy for a long time because he was playing on Saturdays for Bournemouth Electric in the Bournemouth League. Luckily for the Hammers Andy did not give up, and he managed to persuade Darren to come and play a few games for United at the end of the season after Electric had finished their fixtures. Darren joined the Club in 1999 and obviously liked what Hamworthy United had to offer him because he left 13years later in 2012 .He played most of his games for the First team, but latterly for the Reserves.

As stated earlier Darren was very much a goal scorer. There was nothing he likes doing more than putting the ball into the back of the net. It took him less than four seasons for him to score his first 100 goals for United. He was presented with the Golden Boot by the Chairman David Manuel before the start of the 2003/4 season. Darren scored many important goals including Hamworthy’s first ever one in the Sydenhams Premier League after being promoted from the Dorset Premier League under Alex Pike.

By the time he left the Hammers in 2012 he must have played at least 500 games, and scored in excess of 400 goals for the Club in various competitions. This record will very likely never be beaten. It is even more remarkable because when Darren dropped down into the Reserves and was getting older, he played in mid-field. This meant although he was still scoring goals they were not as plentiful as before, Darren won winners medals in several different competitions with Hamworthy. They included 2002/3 Dorset Combination League Championship, 2003/4 Dorset Premier League Championship, Dorset Premier League Charity Shield Winners, Mark Frowde Memorial Cup Winners, 2004/5 Wessex League Cup Winners and 2005/6 Dorset Senior Cup Winners. During his time at the County Ground Darren continued playing for his various Sunday League Teams, and continued to win medals. His trophy cabinet must be bulging at the seams, proof of Darren’s skill and winning mentality.

Darren is still playing for Bournemouth Manor in the Bournemouth Premier League at the age of 47, proof of how fit he keeps himself.. We are still hoping he will continue to turn out for the Irvin Brown games on Cup Final Days for at least few more years. Darren has given a lot of pleasure over the years to a lot of people and has always been loyal and there when needed. This surely makes him more than entitled to be known as a true Hamworthy United Legend.

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