Chester City player Nigel Walker has died at the age
of 54 after a long fight with cancer. The Gateshead-born
inside-forward made 41 league appearances in his only
season at Sealand Road and the nine goals he scored
during that 1984/85 campaign placed him second behind
Nigel signed as a professional for
Newcastle United after leaving school in July 1977 and
made his debut, against Bristol City, in a First Division
fixture in November the same year. Over the next five
years he made 70 league appearances for the Tyneside
club before being released at the end of the 1981/82
campaign. During summer 1982 he moved to the USA where
he played for San Diego Sockers in the NASL.
On his return to England Nigel signed
non-contract forms for Crewe Alexandra and remained
a regular in their side until the end of the 1982/83
season. A move to Sunderland followed but after only
one substitute appearance he was loaned out to Blackpool.
Nigel made a dream debut for the Seasiders, scoring
a hat-trick in a 5-1 victory against Northampton Town
When Nigel was not offered a new contract
by Sunderland he was snapped up by John McGrath and
made his league debut for City in the 1-1 draw with
Scunthorpe United at Sealand Road in August 1984. Despite
a large influx of new signings Chester struggled under
McGrath with goalscoring proving a particular problem.
After McGrath was sacked in December Mick Speight took
over as manager and the introduction of strikers Stuart
Rimmer and Ricky Greenhough had a positive impact on
Nigel who started to find the net on a regular basis.
Nigel also took over penalty duties
from the departing Peter Zelem and his first goal for
the club came from the spot in a 2-1 victory over local
rivals Wrexham on Boxing Day 1984. He finished the season
with a flurry of goals including two against Port Vale
and a hat-trick in the 4-4 draw with Swindon Town at
the County Ground.
When Harry NcNally took over
as manager Nigel returned to the North-East and signed
for Hartlepool United where he made 82 appearances prior
to being released in summer 1987. He went on to play
non-league football for Blyth Spartans and Dunston Federation
Brewery while working as a maths teacher.
Chester FC send their condolences to his family and