Sheffield Wednesday's top 30 players - Number 22

HITC Sport's run-down of the Owls' greatest ever player continues with Des Walker.

Sheffield Wednesday were quick to bring Des Walker back to England in 1993, following his ill-fated spell in Italy with Sampdoria.

An England international of fifty-something caps, this was yet another coup for the Owls - following their capture of Chris Waddle two years earlier.

Sadly, Wednesday never kicked on from where they were at the time of Walker's arrival - third - despite the centre-back's eight years of almost unblemished service.

The Londoner - who famously scored only one career goal - scooped the Owls' player of the year award in his debut season, and remains popular among supporters, who would religiously chant the words: 'You'll never beat Des Walker".

Despite walking into a side comprising England internationals Chris Woods, David Hirst, Carlton Palmer, Andy Sinton and Waddle, Walker's spell at Hillsborough coincided with the club's gradual decline, and when his contract was not renewed in 2001, he left behind the likes of Aaron Lescott, Ian Hendon, Ashley Westwood and Efan Ekoku - although Palmer did return for a brief spell on loan.

The former Nottingham Forest player, who played under eight managers while at Wednesday, was a Division One player by the time of his release and went a year without a club - flirting briefly with a move to Major League Soccer - before earning a contract back at the City Ground.

Walker helped Forest to the play-offs in 2003 but scored an own-goal in their semi-final defeat to Sheffield United of all teams, and switched to coaching role a year later - then aged 38 - before leaving upon Gary Megson's appointment as manager.

Small world indeed.

Sheffield Wednesday career: 1993-2001

Appearances: 361

Goals: 0

International career: 1988-1993

Caps: 59

Goals: 0

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