Sheffield Eagles: Pat Walker retirement 'a surprise'
Sheffield Eagles chief Mark Aston has confirmed Pat Walker’s retirement came as a ‘surprise’, but hailed his departing ace for his contribution to the club.
Following the final day defeat against Swinton, Walker revealed publicly that he was retiring from rugby league, ending a career which brought great success at Championship level with the Eagles (twice), Dewsbury and Batley.
Aston was keen to retain the services of the 33-year-old, but confirmed he respected the half-back’s decision to call it a day.
Aston explained to The Star: “It was a little bit of a surprise, but he has a family and he needs to look after them. He has his own business, and his kids, so there is a lot going on. It wasn't something that we were aware was going to happen, but we respect his decision. He has been absolutely fantastic for this club.”
During his first spell Walker helped the Eagles to Championship Grand Final success against Batley in 2013, and was also the side which beat Widnes at Wembley in the 1895 Cup final this year.
Aston continued: “He has been outstanding for us. He has been a breath of fresh air this year. Whenever he has been with me, he has been great. He is a model pro. It is sad, it always is when you lose a quality individual. He fetches a lot to the squad, so it is a loss. We respect him though and his decision because he has been great for this club.”