Walker Dick Image 1 West Ham United 1937

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Walker Dick Image 1 West Ham United 1937

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Description

Hackney, London born centre half Dick Walker’s three decade association with West Ham United began during the 1932-33 season. Playing for Becontree Athletic on Sunday mornings, Walker was spotted by a club scout and given a trial. He played for the club as an amateur in the London Midweek League, but moved to West London club Park Royal for the following season.

After a home clash against Park Royal, West Ham re-signed Walker on a professional contract in March 1934 and he made his Football League debut as right half against Burnley on 27th August 1934, making only 5 appearances during his first two seasons. After featuring in a number of defensive positions, he finally settled in at centre half as The Hammers’ replacement for Jim Barrett in November 1936, and became a regular in the side until the outbreak of the Second World War forced the abandonment of peacetime football.

During the War Walker served with an infantry battalion who fought from El Alamein to Italy and was several times mentioned in dispatches. He played football for The Army whilst on duty in the Middle East and also took leave to play games for West Ham.

After the War he took the captaincy and played football as a regular during their first five post-war League seasons, his final game coming against Plymouth Argyle at Upton Park on 18th February 1953. He totalled 314 appearances for the club, scoring twice, in a defeat at Bradford Park Avenue in August 1947, and in a 3-2 win at Barnsley in November 1948. All of his League games over a 19 year period were played in the Second Division. The four years following his final first team match saw Walker play more than 200 further reserve and A team games until the end of the 1956-57 season, when his playing contract was not renewed by manager Ted Fenton. He was then offered a job cleaning players’ boots at £4 a week. He received a testimonial  against Sparta Rotterdam in October 1957. He left the club having made over 600 appearances including wartime competitions. Walker went on to become coach to Dagenham and later joined Spurs as a scout.

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