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Darren Ashley Bent (born 6 February 1984) is an English footballer who plays for Sunderland as a striker. Darren Bent started his career with Ipswich Town in 2001. He made 122 appearances and scored 49 goals in the league for Ipswich, before joining Charlton Athletic for a fee of £2.5 million in 2005. He was their top goalscorer for two consecutive seasons and joined Tottenham Hotspur for a club record fee of £16.65 million in 2007.

He has represented England at under-19, under-21 and senior levels. He made 14 appearances and scored eight goals for the under-21 side, after making his debut against Italy in 2003 and has made four appearances for the full England side, after making his debut against Uruguay in 2006.

Personal life

Bent grew up in Tootingmarker, South Londonmarker, before moving to Cambridgeshire at the age of 10 and playing for Godmanchester Rovers. As a youngster, Bent was a supporter of Arsenal, and used to have a season-ticket at Highburymarker. He was handed a formal warning by police in June 2004 after he was alleged to have shot a 12 year old with a pellet gun.

Club career

Ipswich Town

Bent progressed through Ipswich Town's youth system, having joined the club at the age of 14, after considering a possible career in athletics. In 2001, he played in the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup, played in the reserves and earned a professional contract with the club. He made his professional debut on 1 November 2001 against Helsingborg in the UEFA Cup and scored his first senior goal in a 4–1 League Cup defeat to Newcastle United on 27 November 2001.

He scored his first FA Premier League goal on 24 April 2002 in a 1–0 win over Middlesbrough. He finished the 2001–02 season with seven appearances and two goals in all competitions, and also saw his team Ipswich face relegation. He scored the winner against Slovan Liberec in the UEFA Cup in October 2002 and finished the 2002–03 season with 18 goals. The 2003–04 season finished with Bent scoring 16 goals, which was followed by 19 goals in the 2004–05 season, being the team's second highest goalscorer.

Charlton Athletic

He completed a transfer to Charlton Athletic in June 2005, which was worth an initial £2.5 million, but would have risen to £3 million if he made an agreed number of appearances for Charlton and for England. On the opening day of the 2005–06 FA Premier League season, Bent scored two goals on his Charlton debut against Sunderland, and was named the Premiership player of the month for August. Bent was the highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League in the 2005–06 season, with 18 goals (22 overall) which made him third highest scorer and was named Charlton Athletic Player of the Season award. He signed an extension to his contract at Charlton until 2010. Bent finished the 2006–07 season with 13 goals in the Premier League, again finishing as Charlton's top goalscorer, but was unable to prevent them from sliding into the Football League Championship after seven successive seasons of Premiership football. Charlton accepted a bid from West Ham United for him in June 2007, but Bent was not interested in a move to Upton Parkmarker.

Tottenham Hotspur

He completed a move to Tottenham Hotspur for a club record fee of £16.5 million on 29 June 2007, which was to be payable over three years and is inclusive of add on payments. Ipswich were entitled to 20% of Charlton's profit on Bent under a sell-on clause, which gave the club an initial £2.58m. He scored his first goal for Tottenham in a friendly match against Stevenage Borough in their first pre-season fixture of their 2007–08 season. Bent scored his first competitive goal for Tottenham in a 4–0 home victory over Derby County in August 2007. This was followed up by scoring in the 6–1 win over Anorthosis Famagusta in the first round of the UEFA Cup on 20 September 2007.

Bent scored his 100th career goal on 9 March 2008 in the added time of a 4–0 league win over West Ham United. He also scored the 100th goal to be scored at White Hart Lane during the 2007–08 season on 22 March in a 2–0 win over Portsmouth. Bent went on to score one more goal that season, against Newcastle United, which he finished with 36 appearances and eight goals.

He scored 12 goals for Tottenham during the 2008–09 pre-season. His first league goal of the season came against Chelsea, which gave his side a 1–1 draw. He scored a header in the second half of Tottenham's UEFA Cup first round game against Wisła Kraków, giving the team a 2–1 victory. On 6 November, in a game against Dinamo Zagreb, Bent scored his first competitive hat-trick for Tottenham. He followed this up with two goals in a 2–1 victory against Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadiummarker.

His confidence and subsequently form suffered during the 2008–09 season, culminating in a miss in front of an open goal in the final minutes during a home game against Portsmouth. The miss, which cost Tottenham two points, prompted manager Harry Redknapp to claim "You will never get a better chance to win a match than that!. My missus could have scored that one". Despite being Tottenham's top goalscorer for the season with 12 goals, he was rumoured to be part of a swap deal involving Sunderland's Kenwyne Jones. However, on 31 January 2009 he scored two goals in the period of a few minutes against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadiummarker after coming on as a second half substitute, in a match that eventually finished as a 3–2 defeat. Following the return of Robbie Keane at Tottenham, Redknapp assured Bent of his future at the club. He finished the season as Tottenham's top goalscorer with 17 goals in all competitions.


Sunderland opened negotiations in July 2009 to sign Bent. The deal seemed delayed and Bent accused chairman Daniel Levy of disrupting his move to Sunderland through Twitter, although he later apologised, saying he acted out of frustration. He travelled to Sunderland to sign for the club after they agreed a fee with Tottenham, and after passing a medical, Bent signed for Sunderland on 5 August for an initial fee of £10 million plus potential additional payments, which could possibly rise to £16.5 million.

Bent scored on his Sunderland debut, scoring their only goal in a 1–0 victory against Bolton Wanderers, which was followed with Sunderland's opening goal against Chelsea in the next game, which finished as a 3–1 defeat.The goal against Chelsea being Bent's 100th career league goal. Bent netted a brace in the 4-1 win over Hull City to give himself his third and fourth goals in five games. Bent continued his rich vein of form scoring in Sunderland's 3-1 defeat against Burnley at Turf Moormarker. He scored again in a 5-2 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers, however after the game Sunderland Manager Steve Bruce was left angry at his decision to give Sunderland's second penalty to team-mate Kenwyne Jones, after the latter "pleaded" with Bent to take the penalty so that he could get on the score sheet. However due to Bruce's superstition which leads him not to watch penalties that are being taken by his own team, he had to be told of the event. Bent then scored the opening goal of the 2-2 draw with Manchester United. He also scored a bizarre goal in a 1–0 victory against Liverpool in October 17, 2009 when his shot deflected off a beach ball (thrown on to the field by a Liverpool fan) and past the keeper into the net.

International career

Bent represented England at under-19 level level, and at under-21 level, for whom he made 14 appearances and scored eight goals. His first appearance for the under-21 team came against Italy in February 2003, which England lost 1–0. He received his first call up to the senior England team for the friendly against Denmark on 17 August 2005, but did not play in the game. His England debut eventually came on 1 March 2006, when he started against Uruguay at Anfieldmarker in a pre-2006 FIFA World Cup friendly match. He was not included in England's World Cup squad when it was announced in May 2006.

Despite having played for the senior side, Bent was recalled to the under-21 squad for their October 2006 qualification play-offs against Germany. Later that month, he was recalled to the senior squad due to an injury to Andrew Johnson shortly after the squad's announcement. He was called to the England squad for a UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia in November 2007. He came on as an 80th minute substitute as England lost 3–2 and failed to qualify for the tournament. He was called up to the team for a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in March 2009 following an injury to striker Carlton Cole.

As of 2008 he has played four games, all as a substitute, and is yet to score.

Career honours

Tottenham Hotspur

Career statistics

As of 12 September 2009

All-Time Club Performance
Club Season Domestic League Domestic Cups Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Ipswich Town 2001–02 5 1 1 1 1 0 7 2
2002–03 35 12 5 5 4 2 44 18
2003–04 37 16 2 0 0 0 39 16
2004–05 45 20 3 0 0 0 48 20
Total 122 49 11 6 5 2 138 56
Charlton Athletic 2005–06 36 18 8 4 0 0 44 22
2006–07 32 13 3 2 0 0 35 15
Total 68 31 11 6 0 0 79 37
Tottenham Hotspur 2007–08 27 6 1 0 8 2 36 8
2008–09 33 12 4 1 6 4 43 17
Total 60 18 5 1 14 6 79 25
Sunderland 2009–10 9 8 0 0 0 0 9 8
Total 9 8 0 0 0 0 9 8
Career Totals 259 106 27 13 19 8 305 126


  1. Darren Bent's Twitter Account Attacks Tottenham Hotspur Chairman Daniel Levy

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