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Darius Henderson

Born: 7th September 1981 
Nationality: English 
Position: Striker 
Royals first team debut: Burnley 3-0 Reading – 18/03/00 
Appearances: 12(+71) 
Goals: 15

Henderson’s Story:
The striker arrived at the Academy as a junior from Doncaster Rovers, signing a professional contract with the Royals in August 1999. 

Alongside Alex Haddow and Nathan Tyson, Henderson was one of three Academy products that would go on to make the grade for the first team over the course of the 1999/00 season. 

His first Reading start coincided with his Madejski stadium debut, a 2-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers in late April. 

Henderson had to wait until the 2001/02 season to become a regular within the side. His first goals for the club came three games into the campaign – a brace at home against Luton Town. 

That season consisted of 45 appearances for Alan Pardew’s side and notching 11 goals as they produced a second place finish and promotion to Division One. 

The following season the Royals managed to secure a Play-off place, with Henderson Scoring four times along the way as they lost to the eventual promotion winners Wolves 3-1.  

Beyond the hoops:

Henderson’s next big step was joining Watford in August 2005, manager Adrian Boothroyd paying £450,000 for his services. 

He became an integral part of the Watford setup, with ten goals in 30 games helping the Hornets to a Play-off place, and an 84th minute penalty in the final assured Watford’s spot in the top flight. 

After not having the most productive time in the Premier League, the Sutton-born striker agreed a move to Sheffield United in 2008, and then to Millwall three years later. 

His time at the Den saw him reach 19 goals in his first season, including three hat-tricks and a brace. 

Henderson later moves saw him join Tony Mowbray's Coventry City, signing for the Sky Blues at the age of 34, before short spells with Mansfield and Eastleigh.