Pat Walker comes out of retirement for Hunslet

·2-min read
Pat Walker in action for Sheffield Credit: PA Images
Pat Walker in action for Sheffield Credit: PA Images

Experienced stand-off Pat Walker has come out of retirement to join his nephew Jackson at League 1 club Hunslet.

Walker, 36, hung up his boots in 2019 after making more than 300 appearances for Dewsbury, Sheffield and Batley.

He was an ever present for Sheffield in his final season in 2019 and now returns to the professional ranks.

Walker said: “I’ve continued to turn out in charity games since retiring. But my return to the professional ranks has been prompted by Hunslet’s recent signing on loan of my nephew, Jackson Walker; while my brother James enjoyed a few seasons at the South Leeds Stadium.

“When the Parksiders found out that I’m Jackson’s uncle head coach Alan Kilshaw checked out whether I’d be interested in signing, and the approach whetted my appetite. I’ve missed playing over the last three years. You’re a long time retired, so it was an opportunity I didn’t waste any time pondering about.

“It’s good to be back. I can certainly bring something to the cause, helping guide the many talented young players in the squad around the park. It’ll be about being vocal on the field of play as much as anything.”

Championship quality

A regular goalkicker, Walker had racked up 1,838 points in his career to date.

He came through the ranks at Dewsbury Moor and played amateur rugby league with Shaw Cross Sharks, before turning professional with Dewsbury.

Coach Alan Kilshaw added: “We have been speaking to Patch for a few weeks now and I’m delighted to have got him to the end of the season at least,” says Kilshaw, adding, “a player of his experience and quality in the halves is a real rarity at the moment.

“When I learned he was having itchy feet in his retirement I didn’t hesitate to try and sell the club to him. He is a Championship quality stand-off who has achieved success at every club he has been at.

“Not only will his influence on the pitch be hugely beneficial but our younger halfbacks can also learn from him off the field. With another signing currently imminent, we now have everything in place for a really good second half of the season to build on the great work that has already been done already.”

Hunslet have used 34 players in their 13 games so far this season.

Young Jackson Walker has started at prop in their most recent two games, against Doncaster and North Wales.

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