Kyle Walker: Who is the ex-Sheffield United defender and how did he rise to fame and fortune at Manchester City
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The footballer recently hit the headlines after Cheshire Police revealed they were investigating allegations of a man indecently exposing himself in a bar, after a video began circulating on social media. The alleged incident is said to have happened on March 5 following City’s 2-0 Premier League win over Newcastle.
Who is the England and Man City player?
Walker was just a seven-year-old Sheffield schoolboy when he was scouted for Sheffield United’s academy. Now at age 32 he plays among some of the world’s most famous footballers at Man City, such as Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden.
Last year, the attacking right back was reported to have earned a whopping salary of £8,320,000 - a big enough pay cheque to purchase his £3m Cheshire home twice over and still have more left over than many of us will earn in a lifetime.
Walker, who is married to childhood sweetheart Annie Kilner, grew up on the Lansdowne estate in Sharrow, a stone’s throw from Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane stadium. The former Porter Croft Infant & Junior school pupil would spend hours each day practising his football trade at Mount Pleasant Park, off Abbeydale Road, with the support of his doting parents.
He has previously said he owes his success to his parents, Tracey and Michael Walker. He said: “It's mainly down to my mum and dad for supporting me and showing me that they believe in me and I can go and achieve what I want to achieve.”
After leaving High Storrs School in 2006, where his signed England shirt is placed on the wall, Walker would soon become the youngest player in Blades’ history to appear at Wembley when he played in the 2008/09 Championship play-off final defeat to Burnley.
That summer saw him sold with teammate Kyle Naughton to Tottenham Hotspur, where Walker thrived. His pace and endurance saw him make more than 200 appearances for Spurs over his eight years with the club, earning 27 England caps in that time.
In 2017, Walker earned a £50m move to Manchester City where he became a multiple time Premier League champion. He has become further renowned as an outstanding fast full back with more than 230 appearances.
In his career he has won four Premier League titles, four EFL Cup trophies and one FA Cup whilst at City. He also featured for England at UEFA Euro 2016, and 2020, and also played in the 2018 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He has also been named in the Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA) team of the year in 2011-12, 2016-17, and 2017-18.
In 2020, Walker, a dad of four, joined Puma Football after ending his sponsorship deal with Nike Football, and in 2021 helped to create a new kit with suicide prevention charity, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). Speaking out on the campaign he said playing football has helped his mental health “because football is about being part of something”.
With the average retirement age of footballers standing at just 35-year-old, Walker has dropped several hints that he’d like to return to the Blades before he hangs his boots up. In 2021 he said on the BBC’s Friday Football Social podcast: “I made it very clear I want to go back and play for Sheffield United. I started there, played there from when I was six or seven years old.”
He added that he’ll continue playing until his “legs don’t want to go”, which with his continued success still looks far on the horizon.