Karen Walker (footballer)

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Karen Walker
Personal information
Date of birth (1969-07-29) 29 July 1969 (age 45)
Place of birth Mexborough, England[1]
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1985–2004 Doncaster Rovers Belles
2004–2006 Leeds United Ladies
National team
1988–2003 England 83 (40)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Karen Walker (born 29 July 1969)[2] is an English former international football centre-forward. She played for Doncaster Belles for 20 years, starting at the age of 15, and began playing for England as a teenager, making 83 appearances and scoring a record 40 goals until she retired from international football in 2003.[3] Walker's uncompromising style of play earned her the sobriquet "Wacker".[4]

Walker is particularly remembered for her performances in the 1995 World Cup in Sweden.[5] She finished her career with two seasons at Leeds United, and in her very last game, against Arsenal in the 2006 FA Cup Final,[6] she left the pitch to a standing ovation.

In 2007 she was part of the BBC team covering the FIFA Women's World Cup in China.[7] Later that year she was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.[3]

Club career[edit]

Walker's neighbour, Karen Skillcorn, was already playing for Doncaster Belles and recruited Walker as a fifteen-year-old. After a period as a substitute, Walker became first choice when the club's regular centre-forward became pregnant.[8] In a long career with the club she eventually played in 11 FA Women's Cup finals, winning five of them.[3] With the formation of the National Division in 1991, Walker scored 36 goals in 14 games to help Doncaster win the inaugural title.[9] Red Star Southampton were vanquished 4–0 in the 1992 WFA Cup final as the club won a League and Cup double. Walker reportedly set a record by scoring a hat-trick in every round of the Cup, including the final.[10]

International career[edit]

In July 1988, Walker made her England debut as a teenager against an Italy B team in the Mundialito tournament. Scoring with her first kick of the ball inspired Walker to take her subsequent football career much more seriously.[8]

International goals[edit]

Since The Football Association took over the team in 1993. Scores and results list England's goal tally first.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "READ UP ON TONIGHT'S ENGLAND STARS". Norwich City F.C. 23 July 2002. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "England:Karen Walker". FIFA. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Hall of Fame Profile- Karen Walker". National Football Museum. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Karen's Diary". femaleSOCCER.net. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Karen WalkerFIFA competition record
  6. ^ "Yankey delighted by Cup final win". BBC Sport. 1 May 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "BBC to follow England in Fifa Women's World Cup China 2007 – live coverage on BBC Two". BBC. 22 August 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Davies, Pete (1996). I Lost My Heart To The Belles. London: Mandarin. p. 36. ISBN 0-7493-2085-0. 
  9. ^ "1991–1992". The Owl Football Historian. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  10. ^ Galvin, Robert. "Karen Walker". National Football Museum. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tara Proctor
England captain
2002–2003
Succeeded by
Faye White