ian walker - fact file

1989 - 2001        goalkeeper

FULL NAME :   IAN MICHAEL WALKER
 

Born on 31st October 1971 in Watford, England.

Height : - 1.88m  (6' 2")

Weight : -  - kgs  (13st. 1lb)

 

There can be no doubt that Ian Walker's father had a huge influence on his career and the former Watford keeper must have passed some of the goalkeeping genes on to his son, who went on to have a fine career at a level his father failed to reach, despite Ian starting as a striker when at school.

A young talent, which was recognised at an early age and he was selected to attend the FA School of Excellence and was at Wembley to play for England Youth v Denmark before the England v the Rest of the World match for the FA's Centenary in 1987.  Signed on by Spurs as a trainee, Walker worked with Pat Jennings and Erik Thorsvedt as he worked his way up through the youth system before signing pro in October 1989.  Spells on loan at Oxford United and Ipswich Town gave him first team experience before he broke into the first team while Erik Thorstvedt was away on international duty.  Ian didn't have the best start - conceding a goal in ten minutes at Nottingham Forest, which took a deflection to beat him. 

Ian Walker was always a good shot stopper and also dealt with crosses pretty well (after being injured by a Wimbledon forward when taking a high ball). Had a disrupted 1997-98 season after being kicked while on the floor by Fulham's Moody in the FA Cup tie. 

He had criticism over his keeping as Spurs went through a bad spell, conceding lots of goals and from the England v Italy game, when he has been unfairly blamed for the only goal of the game. In addition to the carping about his play, he also had to deal with his mother's death. After his enforced lay-off through injury and exclusion from the final 22 in the England World Cup squad, "Walks" was raring to go in the 1999-2000 season, especially as he had Espen Baardsen pressing him hard for the goalkeeping position. Brought back into the side on George Graham's arrival, he has replaced Espen after the young Norwegian made a few mistakes and has performed soundly in between the sticks. His form towards the end of the season saw Kevin Keegan recall Walker into the England squad where he was installed as the number 2 keeper once again.

A virtual ever present during the 1999-2000 season, but has been the target of some terrace abuse for goals which have been conceded.  His fall from the England squad has been swift, but he has the ability to break back in if he can improve some aspects of his game.  Walker made some good saves, but still had to get over his penalty hoodoo - he never saved one during a match for Spurs.  He was GG's No.1, much to Espen's chagrin, but Ian had to continue to work hard at his game to try and win over the critics.

In the summer of 2000, Spurs secured the services of Wimbledon's' Neil Sullivan on a free transfer and his occupation of the goalkeeper's gloves further unsettled Walker.  So much so, that at the end of the tether and wanting to play first team football, he handed a transfer request in during September, which was reluctantly accepted.  He finally got his move away from Tottenham in July 2001 when he joined Leicester City for 2.5 million, who he returned to the Premiership with in 2003. 

Relegated in 2004, Leicester City let him go and he went to Bolton Wanderers as back up for Jussi Jaaskelainen and played few games for the Trotters.  In fact, he only made eight appearances for the club in three years - none of them in the Premier League, before his contract was cancelled by mutual consent on 11th December 2008, allowing him to pursue a search for regular football.

Split with his wife Suzi after they had a daughter - Sophie - in 1998. The former England keeper had off-field problems that saw him booked into Tony Adams' Sporting Chance clinic for depression in 2006 after his marriage broke up.  Ian moved to America in 2007, when his new partner Samantha Thurman had a son Jaxson with Walker and they  lived in South Florida, until Walker had to return to England over visa problems and took over as manager at non-league Bishops Stortford in 2011, while turning out for the Spurs Legends side.

NICKNAME :  Walks; Ian the Saxon

Career Record
 
Club Signed Fee Debut Apps Goals
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (trainee) July 1988 - - - 0
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR October 1989 - 10th April 1991  v Norwich City (Div. 1) (away) lost 1-2 305 + 3 as sub 0
Oxford United August 1990 Loan 24th September 1990  v Port Vale (League Cup) (away) won 2-0 3 0
Ipswich Town November 1990 Loan - 3 0
Leicester City 9th July 2001 2,500,000 - 156 0
Bolton Wanderers 14th July 2005 Free - - 0
- - - - - 0

League debut :  -  For Oxford United  -  29th September 1990  v  Wolverhampton Wanderers (Div. 2) (home) drew 1-1

Honours
England international
4 full caps;  0 goals
9 Under-21 caps; 0 goals
5 Under-19 caps; 0 goals
12 Youth caps; 0 goals
FA Youth Cup winners medal 1989-90
League Cup Winners medal 1999

          

What they said about Ian Walker
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What Ian Walker said about  ...
his early days in the Spurs first team ...  19.09.1991 (THFC programme)

"At Villa, big Cyrille Regis clattered into me early on, but I was expecting that !"
 

? ...  .. ()

"."

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          Appearances

Season League FA Cup League Cup European Cup Winners Cup
1990-1991 (Oxford U) 2 - 1 -
1990-1991 1 - - -
1991-1992 18 - 1 2
1992-1993 17 - 2 -
1993-1994 11 2 1 -
1994-1995 41 6 2 -
1995-1996 - - - -
1996-1997 - - - -
1997-1998 - - - -
1998-1999 - - - -
1999-2000 - - - -
2000-2001 - - - -

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