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Chris Walker (rugby league)

Chris Walker (born 27 February 1980) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 2000s and 2010s. A Queensland State of Origin representative winger, he played his club football in the National Rugby League for the Brisbane Broncos, South Sydney, Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm, Gold Coast Titans and Parramatta. Walker also had a stint in the Super League for French club Catalans Dragons. He is the younger brother of fellow professional NRL players Shane Walker and Ben Walker. At one point in the late 1990s all three brothers were playing together for the Brisbane Broncos.

Chris Walker
Chris Walker Parramatta.jpg
Personal information
Born (1980-02-27) 27 February 1980 (age 39)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Playing information
Height183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight92 kg (14 st 7 lb; 203 lb)
PositionFullback, Wing, Centre
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1999–02 Brisbane Broncos 67 40 0 0 160
2003 South Sydney 5 1 0 0 4
2003–05 Sydney Roosters 47 26 44 0 192
2006 Melbourne Storm 7 2 1 0 10
2007–09 Gold Coast Titans 20 10 3 0 46
2010 Catalans Dragons 12 6 2 0 28
2011 Parramatta Eels 5 2 0 0 8
Total 163 87 50 0 448
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2001–02 Queensland 6 4 0 0 16
Source: [1]

BackgroundEdit

Born in Brisbane, Queensland on 27 February 1980. Walker was educated St. Mary's College, Toowoomba, where he represented 1996 Australian Schoolboys.[2]

Playing careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Walker started his career playing for the Past Brothers club in the Queensland Cup.

Brisbane BroncosEdit

While playing for the Past Brothers, Walker also played for the Brisbane Broncos in the National Rugby League.[3]

He made his first grade debut for Brisbane against Cronulla-Sutherland in round 2 1999. In the 2000 NRL season, Walker played 10 games for Brisbane but did not play in the premiership winning team that year.

Having won the 2000 NRL Premiership, Brisbane travelled to England to play against 2000's Super League V Champions, St Helens R.F.C. for the 2001 World Club Challenge, with Walker selected for the interchange bench in Brisbane's loss.

Also, along with Lote Tuqiri and Darren Lockyer, he was the top try-scorer for the Broncos in the 2002 season.

South Sydney RabbitohsEdit

He started the 2003 NRL season at South Sydney after leaving Brisbane. He only played 5 games for the club. Walker requested a release from his contract sighting personal reasons. At the time Walker was on $350,000 a season with Souths. In 2015, Walker spoke to the media about his time at The Rabbitohs and said he was sent death threats after walking out on the team by fans. Walker said "Yes I had about 7-8 letters, I still don't why or who sent them, the worst one was when I received a letter from someone saying they were going to shoot me, I went to the game thinking I was going to die".[4]

Sydney RoostersEdit

After leaving Souths mid-season, Walker joined the club's arch rivals the Sydney Roosters. Walker was a try-scorer in the Sydney Roosters' loss in the 2003 NRL Grand Final against Penrith.

He gained a reputation as a "bad boy" of rugby league.[5] In the 2004 NRL season he was involved in a drunken altercation with police outside a Fortitude Valley nightclub[6] The Roosters club fined the winger and placed him on an alcohol ban for the rest of the season.[7] He returned to play on the wing and score a try for the Roosters in their 2004 NRL Grand Final loss to cross-Sydney rivals, Canterbury-Bankstown.

Melbourne StormEdit

After departing the Sydney Roosters following the conclusion of the 2005 NRL season, Walker signed for Melbourne. In August, 2006, Walker was sacked by Melbourne Storm for disciplinary reasons.[8]

In 2019, Walker spoke about his dismissal from Melbourne and also his departure from the Sydney Roosters saying "I had a bit of a disagreement with 'Sticky' at the end of 2005. I’d been getting on the drink pretty heavy and my relationship was falling to bits. I signed with Melbourne, and it was the same thing down there. I didn’t curb my ways off the field, and that didn’t fit in with their culture. The disagreement between Craig Bellamy and myself was brought on by me being irresponsible off the field".[9]

Gold Coast TitansEdit

In November 2006, it was announced that he had been given a trial with the Gold Coast Titans. In early March 2007 after a series of strong performances in pre-season trial matches with the Titans, Walker signed a one-year deal with the Gold Coast club. In the first NRL premiership game for the new club Walker scored two tries, but then broke a bone in his hand early in the second half.

In April, 2007, while sidelined with injury, Walker was reported to have been ejected from a bar after for "bad behaviour".[10] The Gold Coast Titans suspended him as a result and it was later revealed that Walker had been suffering from alcoholism and an anxiety disorder.[11] After a period of rehabilitation and several games in the Queensland Cup, Walker returned to the NRL in Round 19 against Canterbury.[12]

In 2008, Walker suffered a season-ending ruptured Achilles tendon for the second time in five months.[13] In 2009 he attracted interest from Super League clubs, but said he did not want to play in Europe and he would prefer to stay in the NRL with a Queensland team.[14]

 
Walker playing for Catalans in 2010

Catalans DragonsEdit

After departing the Gold Coast, Walker signed a two-year deal with the Catalans Dragons in France.[15]

Parramatta EelsEdit

Walker returned to the NRL in 2011 to play with the Parramatta Eels.[16] He approached Parramatta officials for permission leave the NRL club after a string of injuries. Walker retired from the NRL at the end of the 2011 season.[17]

Ipswich JetsEdit

He returned to playing with Ipswich Jets and played in the 2015 NRL State Championship final where Ipswich defeated Newcastle.

Representative careerEdit

He played for Queensland in all 6 State of Origin matches in 2001 and 2002. Walker scored in all three games of the 2001 State of Origin series.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Chris Walker - Career Stats & Summary - Rugby League Project". www.rugbyleagueproject.org. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League". Sporting Pulse. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
  3. ^ Round 22: 15, 16 August Archived 17 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine queensland.rleague.com
  4. ^ "Former NRL star Chris Walker opens up on his turbulent career in rugby league". Courier Mail.
  5. ^ The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 April 2007. Story: "Walker suspended over bar incident"
  6. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, 3 May 2004. Story: "Walker suspended over police incident"
  7. ^ ABC Sport, 3 May 2004. Story: "Walker cops fine, booze ban after Brisbane arrest"[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "'Tackle-shy' Walker turns on Storm's wrestling tactics". SMH.
  9. ^ "Legend Q&A: Chris Walker". nrl.com.
  10. ^ http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,21576063-5001023,00.html The Daily Telegraph, 18 April 2007. Story: "Walker in strife again"
  11. ^ http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,21581337-23214,00.html Fox Sports, 19 April 2007. Story: "Titans fear for Walker"
  12. ^ "Walker's time to prove himself". Fox Sports Australia. 24 July 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2007.
  13. ^ "Walker snaps Achilles again". Fox Sports. 15 March 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2008.
  14. ^ "Chris Walker cuts ties with Gold Coast and keen on move to Brisbane". Fox Sports. 12 July 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  15. ^ http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/gold-goast-star-chris-walker-signs-with-catalans-dragons-in-super-league/story-e6frexnr-1225810412857
  16. ^ "Chris Walker to play at Eels". The Sydney Morning Herald. 3 November 2010.
  17. ^ "Official Player Numbers". Parramatta Eels.

External linksEdit