Nottingham Forest’s recent brush with a transfer embargo saw them short in their first-team squad. The result was plenty of opportunities for the younger players at the club.
One such player was England youth international striker Tyler Walker.
The forward has now become an integrated member of the Nottingham Forest first-team and is of course the son of a Forest legend.
Tyler’s dad was central defender Des Walker – who played over 400 times for Forest in two separate spells as a player and also made 59 caps for England.
However the Forest legend says he was not the one to inspire his son’s, as he also has a younger son called Lewis in the Forest youth system, to take up the sport. Instead it was the heroes of the England team at the turn of the Millennium who had the impact – the likes of Michael Owen and David Beckham.
“People tend to think just because I am his dad he wanted to be a footballer but he was born in ’96 and it was David Beckham and (Michael) Owen.
“I didn’t want him to grow up in my shade so it was Owen and Beckham really who brought him into football. At that point, about 2002, every young kid wanted to be David Beckham, wanted to be Michael Owen and my sons were no different.
Walker of course has big boots to fill but it is refreshing to see that his old man took a step back from his potential career, to let him make his own choices. It just so happened that the two decided a career at Forest was right for them. In fact, Des wanted them to do something entirely different:
“I don’t think I had that much influence on them really I wanted them to be doctors or lawyers but that was never going to happen.”
It’s all in the genes.