By Mick Moran – @m1cklfc
His uncanny impressions have been heard by football fans all around the world, he boasts more than 150k followers on Twitter and a further 148k ‘like’ him on Facebook – yet, Darren Farley is just an ordinary man.
That he may be, but he possesses some serious talent. Darren shot into the spotlight ten years ago, with a video shot in a friend’s newsagents where he performed the impressions we have come to know and love over the years.
Fast forward a decade, and the former-landscape gardener has amassed tens of millions of hits online, earned a sponsorship deal with Mansion Bet and has a fiercely loyal fanbase in the footballing world.
“It’s a strange thing to be able to do,” Darren told The Kopite, “I have an interest in people, the little things they do. I’m a massive people watcher. I think it’s just something natural and a bit weird!
“The first impression I ever did was Michael Owen which is probably one of the toughest to do, he has a very unique voice which you’re probably aware of! I love doing all my impressions but the most requested impressions are Jamie Carragher and Harry Redknapp.”
“It’s nice that people all have their own favourites, I was speaking to Carra at an event recently and he was fuming I hadn’t done any Peter Crouch ones for a while, I think I’ll have to bring that one back out!”
Scouse trio Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Wayne Rooney are at the forefront of Darren’s repertoire but he also has some managers in his locker – the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Rafa Benitez and Harry Redknapp are also well within his abilities.
The latter of these ‘starred’ in several hilarious ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of Here’ sketches which have most of the footballing world in hysterics.
One of Darren’s impressions of Harry Redknapp in the jungle
Speaking of impersonating managers, Liverpool currently boast a boss who certainly has a… unique voice and personality – does the 33-year old have any plans to play the part of Jurgen Klopp any time soon?
“He’s a massive character and the problem is when I’ve worked on him, it’s hard to make him funnier than what it already is!
“He’s already such a big character so it’s hard to put my own spin on him, as a fan I absolutely love him!”
The fame and the money will no doubt be a huge incentive for Darren, but what is it that really drives him on to do what he’s doing?
“All of it,” he answers with a clear passion for his craft, “I’ve been so lucky to perform at some major events and meet childhood heroes, I’ve been so blessed and I appreciate it all massively.
“The things that mean the most to me are the kind words people say about my videos, they don’t have to do it but they take the time to do it. Last week a little lad about five came up to me in town and started doing impressions to me, to be honest his Carragher was well better than mine!”
As well as the chat about his career, Darren also took the time to take part in a little Q&A about his thoughts on Liverpool’s season so far, and if he thinks the Reds can bring home Premier League gold:
How would you describe Liverpool’s season so far?
Darren: “Buzzing with the Reds! What I’m liking is the fact that we aren’t setting the world alight and still getting the results. It’s going to go all the way. City are brilliant but I don’t buy the fact that they won’t slip up, they did against Chelsea and will do again at some point, and we need to be there to capitalise.”
Does Virgil van Dijk have the potential to be the best centre-back we’ve ever had?
Darren: “Yes. It’s early days but he’s just on a different level. He oozes class and has not just brought solidarity with him but also composure and leadership qualities. He reminds me of Sami Hyypia in many ways, alongside Gomez there is no better partnership in the Premier League.”
Who’s your favourite player at the minute and why?
Darren: “Andy Robertson, I love him. He’s an outstanding full back, solid and excellent going forward. It’s great having ability but the enthusiasm he brings to his game is on a different level, I’ve met him and he’s a genuinely nice lad, humble and appreciative.
“James Milner is another favourite of mine, he could play till he’s 40, gets better every season. I’m a Jordan Henderson fan, I know he splits opinion but I think he’s a fantastic player – captain of club, vice-captain of country, he must be doing something right.”
Who do we need to sign to improve/where do we need to strengthen?
Darren: “For me I still feel we need a world class striker. Firmino gets injured we are in trouble. Apart from that I think we are very strong, we have been clever in the market, the Shaqiri signing impressed me a lot, an absolute steal and a player who will play a big part.”
Would you prefer Liverpool to win the Premier League or Champions League?
Premier League for me – I think Jurgen Klopp needs a trophy. I would love an FA Cup. I just feel this team needs a trophy and the rest will follow!”