Darren Gough is one of those cricketers that can lift a crowd and a nation. Whether it is the sight of him limbering up to start a sizzling spell of fast bowling or striding out to bat, a buzz of excitement sweeps around the ground. Something exciting is about to happen!
During his time as England’s premier strike bowler, Gough was often the inspiration and talisman for the team. He was all heart and determination, but his game also possessed guile and intelligence. Lacking the height of the traditional pace bowler, Gough worked out other ways of dismissing batsmen. He became England’s first and foremost exponent of reverse swing which, when combined with his subtle changes of pace and seam movement, brought him 229 wickets in 58 Tests.
Memorable highlights of his Test career include ripping through the Australian batting in his first Ashes Test and a hat-trick of wickets, again against Australia, in Sydney in 1999. No-one contributed more to England’s historic series win over West Indies in 2000, a performance which saw Gough named man of the series. His partnership with Andy Caddick is widely recognised as one of the key factors in England’s renaissance at the time.
Gough played his last Test in 2003 but continued to be a fiery presence in one-day internationals until 2006. He is the leading English One Day International wicket-taker ever.
By this time, of course, Dazzler had also made quite an impact on the dance floor in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. Just like the Test Match crowds before, the TV audience immediately took to his ebullient character and his neat footwork. He and his partner Lilia Kopylova were crowned 2005 champions and subsequently won the 2007 Christmas Special!
Following his 2005 win on Strictly, he released the dance book Dazzler on the Dance Floor through Hodder & Stoughton and Darren Gough’s Brilliant Sports Quiz on DVD through Universal. He returned to Yorkshire for the 2007 season as captain and produced some of his best bowling figures for over 10 years. Ever the performer.
Darren's television career expanded as he starred as a captain on BBC's Saturday night family show "Hole in the Wall” in 2008, when, after taking centre stage during the debut Strictly Come Dancing Nationwide Tour, entitled Strictly Live, Darren continued to host his successful radio show Darren Gough’s Cricket Night on BBC Radio 5 Live.
In 2009, Darren became a presenter on Talk Sport’s drive time show; the No.2 Sports show on commercial radio. In 2011, the show was nominated for a Sony radio award, and achieved a high of 1.35 million listeners.
Now that Darren has a firm position in the media, he helped launch Tesco’s lbs for £s campaign in 2011.
With a Twitter following exceeding 160,000, Darren is fast becoming as successful in retirement as he was during his career.
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Date of birth: 18 September 1970
Place of birth: Barnsley, Yorkshire
Honours and achievements
2009: Presenter on Talksport.
2008: Captain on BBC's prime time show "Hole in the Wall"
2007: Captain of Yorkshire County Cricket Club
2005: Winner of Strictly Come Dancing
2004: First Englishman to take 200 one-day international wickets
2003: Retired from Test cricket with 229 wickets in 58 Tests
2001: Man of the Test series against Sri Lanka
2000: Man of the Test series against West Indies
1999: Took Ashes Test hat-trick in Sydney
1996: Scored only first class century
1994: Test debut against New Zealand