Ian Walker (footballer)
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|Full name||Ian Michael Walker|
|Date of birth||31 October 1971|
|Place of birth||Watford, Hertfordshire, England|
|1990||→ Oxford United (loan)||2||(0)|
|1990||→ Ipswich Town (loan)||0||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Walker for many years was the number one 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 and won the 1999 League Cup after beating Leicester City 1-0 at the old Wembley Stadium. Walker handed in a transfer request in September 2000 after losing his place in the first team to Neil Sullivan. He played his final game for Spurs against West Ham United on 31 January 2001.
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. His first season at the club ended in relegation to the First Division, which he felt may have ruined his dreams of an England call-up for the 2002 World Cup. 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.
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. 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." 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. Despite comfortably saving Kevin Davies' shot, he lost grasp of the ball as it crawled over the goal line. He did make a comeback performance in a goalless home draw against Wolves on 28 February, putting up a "world-class save" to deny Kenny Miller. Walker pledged to stay at Leicester despite their relegation from the Premier League in the 2003–04 season. He was released from Leicester City on 6 May 2005, after the club could not afford him a new contract. Walker spent four years at Leicester.
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. 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.
In April 2012, Walker joined his former Bolton teammate Nicolas Anelka at Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua and became their goalkeeping coach. On 2 January 2014, Walker became the goalkeeping coach of Shanghai East Asia, another Super League team in Shanghai. On 15 May 2014, Walker signed a new contract with Shanghai East Asia, keeping him at the club until the end of 2017 season. Walker continues to coach the 1st team goalkeepers at Shanghai SIPG FC. Walker has produced two national team goalkeepers for China,Wang Dalei from Shanghai Shenhua in 2012/13 and Yan Junling from Shanghai SIPG in 2014/15,both continue to be in the national squad with Yan Junling who is still coached by Walker the China number 1 goalkeeper.
In the 2018 season Walker was the goalkeeper coach when Shanghai SIPG won their first league title ever.
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. After the birth of daughter Sophie in 1998, Suzi suffered Post Natal Eclampsia, and is an ongoing sufferer of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. He became a father just months after the death of his mother Jackie after a long battle against cancer.
In November 2006, Suzi admitted Walker had met dancer Samantha Thurman, 33, from Miami on a property investment trip to Las Vegas in May. In September 2007, Walker and Thurman had a son named Jaxson. They currently live in Shanghai.
- "Spurs accept Walker transfer request". BBC Sport. 15 September 2000. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Hammers held by Spurs". BBC Sport. 31 January 2001. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- "Leicester sign Walker". BBC Sport. 9 July 2001. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Man Utd relegate Leicester". BBC Sport. 6 April 2002. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Relegation ruins Walker's hopes". BBC Sport. 29 April 2002. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Ian Walker". BBC Sport. 17 May 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Leicester 0-5 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 31 January 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Walker escapes FA action". BBC Sport. 2 February 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Leicester 1-1 Bolton". BBC Sport. 10 February 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Adams consoles Walker". BBC Sport. 10 February 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Leicester 0-0 Wolves". BBC Sport. 28 February 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Cotterill praises Walker". BBC Sport. 28 February 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Walker makes Foxes pledge". BBC Sport. 16 April 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Levein rues losing star players". BBC Sport. 14 May 2005. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Lok Plovdiv 1-2 Bolton (agg 2-4)". BBC Sport. 29 September 2005. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- "Walker raring to get going". BBC Sport. 29 July 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Clockwatch: England 6–1 Iceland". BBC Sport. 5 June 2004. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- "阿内尔卡携4人进申花教练组 前队友出任门将教练 (Four men followed Anelka to join Shenhua's coaching team, Former teammate became the goalkeeping coach)". Netease. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
- "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. 2 January 2014. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
- "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. 15 May 2014. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "Spurs star's mum dies". The Mirror. 5 November 1997. Retrieved 25 May 2018 – via The Free Library.
- Venning, Nicola (17 October 2006). "Living in the past (with all mod cons)". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- Info on Health, Medical News, Healthy Living, Healthy Eating, Health News, Diet, Cancer, Cholesterol, Depression, Kidney, Migraine, Smoking Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Suzi Walker – Celebrity Agents, International Celebrity Agents, Personal Management & PR To TV/Radio and Sports Stars Archived 11 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
- "Bolton keepers blonde catch". The Sun. London. 17 May 2007. Archived from the original on 29 January 2007.
- "The Sun Online – The Best for News, Sport and Showbiz – The Sun". The Sun. London. Archived from the original on 22 January 2007.
- 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.
- Ian Walker at Soccerbase