A quarter of a century ago, Macclesfield Town lifted the GM Vauxhall Conference trophy for the first time and in doing so, arguably changed the narrative surrounding the club forevermore. In the sixth in a series of articles, we continue our look back at all the players who played their part in what was a remarkable achievement by featuring the exciting winger, Darren Lyons.
Darren's name is synonymous with the early part of Sammy McIlroy's illustrious tenure at the club, yet it was actually Peter Wragg who first brought him to the Moss Rose for the first time towards the end of the 1989/90 season.
The energetic winger joined the club from Droylsden and made his Silkmen debut during an FA Trophy Second Round tie at Darlington on 3rd February 1990.
Coming on for Phil Derbyshire in what proved to be a 1 - 0 defeat at Feethams, Darren would make seven appearances for Wragg's side that season, before concluding short spells at Accrington Stanley and Ashton United.
In March 1992, Darren signed for Bury and went on to make thirty-six league appearances for The Shakers - scoring seven times.
A move to Southport ensued, before Darren returned to the Moss Rose in February 1994 as Sammy McIlroy continued to create a side which would go on to win all before them.
McIlroy would undoubtedly have been enthused by Darren's "second debut" for the club - which occurred during a Cheshire Senior Cup tie against Colwyn Bay.
It took Darren just three minutes to get on the scoresheet and by half-time, he had already claimed his hat-trick as Macc boasted a 4 - 0 interval lead.
Darren added a further strike in the 56th minute, as Macc stormed into the next round courtesy of a 7 - 1 victory.
Or so we thought......
The tie had originally been scheduled for the previous month and due to the fact that registrations had to be completed before the original date, Darren was actually ineligible for the game!
That said, the Moss Rose faithful had been treated to a taste of what was to come from the tricky winger who revelled in taking defenders on - and more often than not, beating them.
Darren played a pivotal role in The Silkmen lifting the Drinkwise Cup at the end of the 1993/94 season, as not only did he score our crucial second goal against Northwich Victoria in the semi-final, his first-leg brace against Yeovil Town in the final helped to give McIlroy's men what proved to be an unassailable 4 - 1 advantage.
Another four-goal haul was achieved in the final of the Staffordshire Senior Cup, as Macc secured a 14 - 1 aggregate victory against Wednesfield which meant that Lyons ended the campaign having scored fourteen goals in twenty-nine appearances.
Darren once again proved to be a potent weapon within our armoury during the historic 1994/95 campaign.
His incredible turn of pace threatened every defence and as a result, he became one of the most feared wingers in the Vauxhall Conference.
Making thirty-nine appearances that season, Darren scored nine crucial goals and created many more with his magical presence on the wing.
He went on to be a member of our 1996 FA Trophy winning side, before moving to Winsford United for a fee of £3,000 during the early part of the 1996/97 season.
Subsequently turning out for Halifax Town, Altrincham, Morecambe and a second spell at Southport, Darren has since been part of the coaching teams at FC United of Manchester, Wythenshawe Amateurs and Radcliffe.
Darren's contribution here at the Moss Rose - particularly during that historic 1994/95 season, will always be remembered with fondness. He had the ability to get us all up off our seats and played a significant role in one of our greatest-ever achievements.