Ian Walker (footballer)

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Ian Walker
Personal information
Full name Ian Michael Walker
Date of birth (1971-10-31) 31 October 1971 (age 42)
Place of birth Watford, Hertfordshire, England
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Shanghai East Asia (goalkeeping coach)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–2001 Tottenham Hotspur 260 (0)
1990 Oxford United (loan) 2 (0)
1990 Ipswich Town (loan) 0 (0)
2001–2005 Leicester City 140 (0)
2005–2008 Bolton Wanderers 0 (0)
Total 402 (0)
National team
1990–1993 England U21 9 (0)
1996–2004 England 4 (0)
1998 England B 1 (0)
Teams managed
2011 Bishop's Stortford
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Ian Michael Walker (born 31 October 1971 in Watford) is a former English footballer. His former clubs include Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Bolton Wanderers. Walker is the son of former Wales goalkeeper, and Norwich City and Everton manager Mike Walker. He is currently the goalkeeping coach at Chinese Super League side Shanghai East Asia.

Club career[edit]

Tottenham Hotspur[edit]

Walker was for many years the primary goalkeeper for Tottenham Hotspur, starting out with them as a trainee and having two loan spells, for Ipswich Town and Oxford United. Walker made 312 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur. Walker handed in a transfer request in September 2000 after losing his place in the first team to Neil Sullivan.[1] He played his final game for Spurs against West Ham United on 31 January 2001.[2]

Leicester City[edit]

Walker signed a four-year contract with Leicester City in July 2001 for a fee of £2.5 million, rising to £3 million depending on appearances.[3] His first season at the club ended in relegation to the First Division,[4] which he felt may have ruined his dreams of an England call-up for the 2002 World Cup.[5] Walker had an impressive season with Leicester as they regained promotion to the Premier League, earning his first England recall in six years in May 2003.[6]

He struggled with life in the Premier League, particularly in a match against Aston Villa at the Walkers Stadium on 31 January 2004, in which he conceded five goals in 18 minutes.[7] Walker put up such a poor display in the match that he was confronted by a Leicester fan who ran onto the pitch, telling him he "didn't think he was fit to be a Premiership player."[8] On 10 February 2004, Walker scored a bizarre own goal in a match against Bolton Wanderers to give them a 1–1 draw at Leicester.[9] Despite comfortably saving Kevin Davies' shot, he lost grasp of the ball as it crawled over the goal line.[10] He did make a comeback performance in a goalless home draw against Wolves on 28 February,[11] putting up a "world-class save" to deny Kenny Miller.[12] Walker pledged to stay at Leicester despite their relegation from the Premier League in the 2003–04 season.[13] He was released from Leicester City on 6 May 2005, after the club could not afford him a new contract.[14] Walker spent four years at Leicester.

Bolton Wanderers[edit]

Walker joined Bolton on a one-year contract. Walker was the goalkeeper for Bolton's first ever European match away from England against Bulgarian team Lokomotiv Plovdiv, which was also his debut.[15] In May 2006, Walker was rewarded for his patience in not playing a single league game by being given a further two-year contract. In May 2008, and still without a league appearance to his name, Walker was offered a new deal by Bolton manager Gary Megson. However, on 11 December 2008, Ian Walker had his Bolton contract terminated by mutual consent. Walker decided to take a sabbatical away from football,climbing Mount Everest in January 2009,reaching the summit along with ten of his fellow climbers.

International career[edit]

Walker was capped by the England national team four times, making his debut in 1996 against Hungary. His most infamous game was against Italy in a qualification match for the 1998 World Cup where he is widely believed to have been at fault to a Gianfranco Zola strike. England lost this game to Italy 1–0 at Wembley Stadium. He backed up David James at Euro 2004 but was overtaken by others in the pecking order.[16] Despite Walker's club Leicester suffering relegation from the Premier League, he played his first England match in seven years as a 61st minute substitute for Paul Robinson in a 6–1 win over Iceland on 5 June 2004, which was also his last international.[17]

Managerial career[edit]

On 14 March 2011, Walker was appointed as manager of Bishop's Stortford who were playing in the Conference South. Walker's first game in charge was away to Havant & Waterlooville on 19 March 2011, Stortford went on to lose 4–1, he then went on to steady the ship and help the club avoid relegation that season. After Stortford were transferred to Conference North they started the season poorly Walker left the club by mutual consent on 11 December 2011 after losing 5-0 away to Carshalton Athletic in the FA Trophy.

In April 2012, Walker joined his former Bolton teammate Nicolas Anelka at Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua and became their goalkeeping coach, within 5 months of coaching the goalkeepers the 1st team goalkeeper Wang Dalei was called into the China National squad and then made his first ever appearance for the full national team v Sweden in a 1-0 defeat where he was named man of the match. At the end of the second season coaching the goalkeepers at Shenhua, Walkers protege Wang Dalei moved club to Shandong Luneng for €3.6m Euro, a record for an Asian goalkeeper. On 2 January 2014, Walker became the goalkeeping coach of Shanghai East Asia, another Super League team in Shanghai.[18] On 15 May 2014, Walker signed a new contract with Shanghai East Asia, keeping him at the club until the end of 2017 season.[19] After 6 months of coaching the goalkeepers at Shanghai East Asia, first team goalkeeper Yan Junling got called up to the China national squad for the first time ever.

Personal life[edit]

Walker attended Great Cornard Upper School. He and his former Page Three wife Suzi lived in a mock-Tudor mansion in Cobham, Surrey, as featured on MTV Cribs.[20] After the birth of daughter Sophie in 1998, Suzi suffered Post Natal Eclampsia,[21] and is an on-going sufferer of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.[22] He became a father just months after the death of his mother Jackie after a long battle against cancer.[23]

In November 2006, Suzi admitted Walker had met dancer Samantha Thurman, 33,[24] from Miami on a property investment trip to Las Vegas in May.[25] In September 2007, Walker and Thurman had a son named Jaxson. They currently live in Shanghai.[26]

Honours[edit]

Tottenham Hotspur
1999
Leicester City
  • Football League Division 1 Runner up
2002/03

Career statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1990–91 Tottenham Hotspur First Division 0 0
Oxford United Second Division 2 0 1 0 3 0
Ipswich Town 0 0
1991–92 Tottenham Hotspur First Division 0 0
1992–93 Premier League 15 0 15 0
1993–94 3 0 3 0
1994–95 0 0
1995–96 38 0 39 0
1996–97 37 0 1 0 4 0 42 0
1997–98 29 0 1 0 3 0 33 0
1998–99 27 0 6 0 4 0 37 0
1999–2000 38 0 2 0 2 0 4 0 46 0
2000–01 4 0 1 0 5 0
2001–02 Leicester City 35 0 2 0 2 0 39 0
2002–03 First Division 46 0 2 0 3 0 51 0
2003–04 Premier League 37 0 2 0 1 0 40 0
2004–05 The Championship 22 0 4 0 26 0
2005–06 Bolton Wanderers Premier League 1 0 1 0 3 0 5 0
2006–07 1 0 2 0 3 0
2007–08 0 0
2008–09 0 0
Career total 400 0 22 0 26 0 7 0 455 00

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Spurs accept Walker transfer request". BBC Sport. 2000-09-15. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  2. ^ "Hammers held by Spurs". BBC Sport. 31 January 2001. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Leicester sign Walker". BBC Sport. 2001-07-09. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  4. ^ "Man Utd relegate Leicester". BBC Sport. 2002-04-06. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  5. ^ "Relegation ruins Walker's hopes". BBC Sport. 2002-04-29. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  6. ^ "Ian Walker". BBC Sport. 2004-05-17. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  7. ^ "Leicester 0-5 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 2004-01-31. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  8. ^ "Walker escapes FA action". BBC Sport. 2004-02-02. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  9. ^ "Leicester 1-1 Bolton". BBC Sport. 2004-02-10. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  10. ^ "Adams consoles Walker". BBC Sport. 2004-02-10. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  11. ^ "Leicester 0-0 Wolves". BBC Sport. 2004-02-28. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  12. ^ "Cotterill praises Walker". BBC Sport. 2004-02-28. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  13. ^ "Walker makes Foxes pledge". BBC Sport. 2004-04-16. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  14. ^ "Levein rues losing star players". BBC Sport. 2005-05-14. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  15. ^ "Lok Plovdiv 1-2 Bolton (agg 2-4)". BBC Sport. 29 September 2005. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  16. ^ "Walker raring to get going". BBC Sport. 2004-07-29. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  17. ^ "Clockwatch: England 6–1 Iceland". BBC Sport. 2004-06-05. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  18. ^ "官方公告:东亚俱乐部与前英格兰国门伊恩沃克签约 (Official: Shanghai East Asia signed with former England national team goalkeeper Ian Walker)". Shanghai East Asia F.C. 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2014-01-02. 
  19. ^ "官方公告:东亚俱乐部与伊恩沃克续约至2017赛季! (Official: Shanghai East Asia extended Ian Walker's contract to 2017)". Shanghai East Asia F.C. 2014-05-15. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  20. ^ Venning, Nicola (2006-10-17). "Living in the past (with all mod cons)". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  21. ^ Info on Health, Medical News, Healthy Living, Healthy Eating, Health News, Diet, Cancer, Cholesterol, Depression, Kidney, Migraine, Smoking
  22. ^ Suzi Walker – Celebrity Agents, International Celebrity Agents, Personal Management & PR To TV/Radio and Sports Stars
  23. ^ "Spurs star's mum dies. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  24. ^ "Bolton keepers blonde catch". The Sun (London). 2007-05-17. [dead link]
  25. ^ "The Sun Online – The Best for News, Sport and Showbiz – The Sun". The Sun (London). [dead link]
  26. ^ Newman, Paul (19 October 2013). "Ian Walker on some of his Chinese players: 'Lazy, out of shape and won’t train in the rain'". The Independent (London). 

External links[edit]