Darren Appleton was born August 2, 1976, in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England.
He had a simple childhood and he grew up a “normal” kid. Although his parents didn’t have much money they always got by. Darren’s dad was a handy man—mostly a mechanic. He was the guy everyone came to when something needed to be fixed, so he had many different jobs. His mother worked in a sewing factory for years. Both are retired now and they spend a lot of time with their grandkids and keeping up on Darren’s worldwide adventures via the internet and TV. They are very proud of all that Darren has done.
When I asked Darren who had been the biggest influence in his life, with no hesitation, he told me: “I always looked up to my brothers and especially my dad. He knew everything and I learned so much from him.”
Band of Brothers
Darren has two brothers, Craig and Shane. Growing up, Darren was close to them and I am confident his ambition in life stemmed from being raised in a highly competitive relationship with his brothers. According to Darren, Craig was always very athletic. As a youth, he was a very good boxer but a broken hand early in his career, ended his boxing dreams. For the past few years he has been competing in triathlons comparable to the Iron Man. Darren admires his brother’s physical prowess.
“He’s so fit, it’s sick,” were Darren’s words.
Shane is Darren’s oldest brother. Like Darren, Shane was also a professional pool player at English 8 Ball and briefly tried American pool but now he does not really play. Darren’s first exposure to the pool league environment was with Shane at a pub called Frog and Firkin in Knottingley, Pontefract. They even won the doubles championship together in 1992 when Darren was only 16 years of age.