Des Walker says son Tyler has 'carved a niche' as a striker

Friday 25 Sep 2015
Tyler Walker made his England debut against Czech Republic in September
Former England star Des Walker admits son Tyler is more than a chip off the old block, following his breakthrough with club and country.

The 18-year-old forward has become a regular in the Nottingham Forest squad and made his international debut for England Under-20s earlier this season.

And for Walker senior, a classy defender who also made his name with Forest and won 59 caps for the Three Lions, there’s no question about who he thinks is a better footballer.

Des Walker in action for Nottingham Forest.

Des Walker captained Forest in two spells with the club

"He is a more talented player than I was. I only had to kick people," said Des, speaking to the BBC.

"I was not bad at kicking people but he is a creative player and they are the talented ones."

Born in Nottingham in 1996, Tyler grew up watching his father featuring for Sheffield Wednesday and in his second spell with Forest.

But Walker admits his son took little inspiration from his own footballing strengths in the art of defending, after seeing him develop his skills in the family home before joining Forest as a teenager.

"If I start telling him how to score goals, he will start laughing," joked Walker.

"It was David Beckham and Michael Owen who did that.

"But he spent seven or eight hours a day smashing up my house playing football and that's why he has got where he has today. He has carved out his own niche."

That domestic practice was more than justified though, when Walker scored two goals on his England debut against Czech Republic at St. George’s Park earlier this month, following a late call-up to Keith Downing’s squad.

Watch highlights from England U20s' two games with Czech Republic in September

He has also quickly become a popular figure at the City Ground where his father made over 320 appearances in two spells, as well as featuring for Sampdoria and Sheffield Wednesday.

And that is what pleases Walker the most, with Tyler being born and raised in the city where he dad made his name.

"When I hear Forest fans singing 'he is one of our own', that always hits me hard, because he is one of their own," added Walker.

"I was born in London, but he is born here, lives here and loves the club. They appreciate that, so for them to give that back is amazing."

Tyler will be hoping he’s named in the next U20s squad, for their trip to Germany in October for a tournament featuring the host nation, Turkey and the Netherlands.

By Nicholas Veevers