Karl Darlow (born 8 October 1990) is an English footballer who plays for Nottingham Forest on loan from Newcastle United, as a goalkeeper. He is the grandson of former Wales international forward Ken Leek who was part of the Welsh 1958 World Cup squad.
Weeks after being released by Aston Villa at the age of 16, Villa goalkeeping coach Eric Steele recommended Darlow to Forest and he was signed up to their academy. After impressive displays in the reserve team Darlow was awarded a space on the bench where he was present for the majority of the 2010–11 season. His debut was against Crystal Palace, on the last day of the 2010–11 season, as a substitute for Lee Camp. The Reds won the game 3–0, a result that secured them a play-off spot.
In March 2012, Darlow joined Newport County in the Conference National league on loan for a month. He made his first appearance for the club in a 1–0 home win against Gateshead.
On 21 September 2012, Darlow joined Walsall on loan for one month. While there, he signed a new three-year contract at parent club Forest, keeping him there until 2015. On 22 October, his loan with Walsall was extended until 22 December 2012, however Forest recalled him four days later owing to an injury to Forest goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov.
He rejoined Walsall on 1 January 2013 on a one-month loan deal, with the view to extending the loan until the end of the season,
Darlow was recalled again on 10 January after first choice Lee Camp had been told he could leave the club on a free transfer. On 12 January 2013 he made his full Forest league debut in the 2–1 win over Peterborough, and ended with 20 league appearances for the club in the 2012–13 season. Darlow signed a new four-year contract on 23 August 2013 and established himself as manager Billy Davies’s first-choice goalkeeper despite the summer arrival of Dorus de Vries.
On 9 August 2014, Darlow signed a long-term contract with Premier League club Newcastle United for an undisclosed fee. As part of the deal, he was loaned back to Nottingham Forest for the 2014–15 season.
Darlow is eligible to represent Wales as his grandfather Ken Leek was born in Ynysybwl. The Football Association of Wales confirmed Darlow had declined an invitation to join the Wales national football team squad for the friendly match versus Austria on 6 February 2013.
|2012||Newport County (loan)||8||(0)|
|2014–||Nottingham Forest (loan)||24||(0)|