The.FA.com pays tribute to former England international Des Walker as he retires as a player.
Des Walker, the former England defender noted for his fantastic pace, has announced his retirement as a player.
Now 38, Des won 59 caps for England from 1988 to 1993 and was an ever present in the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy and the 1992 European Championship Finals two years later in Sweden.
He was also capped seven times at Under-21 level.
He made his reputation as the First Division’s fastest man-marker in nine great years at Nottingham Forest (1983-92). He featured in more than 250 League games and played in the 1991 FA Cup Final, unfortunately putting through his own goal in a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham.
Serie A’s Sampdoria signed him for £1.5m but a fee almost twice that size took him back to England, to Sheffield Wednesday, after just one season in Italy.
More than 300 Premier League and Football League matches later he came back to Forest, via a spell with Nigel Clough at Burton Albion, at the age of 36.
He was immediately appointed captain and his calming influence helped many of his young team-mates.
In his heyday Des Walker had undoubtedly been a world-class defender.