FORMER Hartlepool United star Nigel Walker has died aged just 54.
Nigel played 92 times for Pools between 1985 and 1987, scoring eight goals.
Hartlepool legend Brian Honour was shocked to hear the sad news on Sunday and was quick to pay tribute to his fellow winger, who started his career with Newcastle United.
Brian, 49, said: “He used to pick me up in Horden and take me into training. He even came to my wedding in 1986.
“I haven’t heard or seen from him in those days but I have great memories.
“If you ask any fan who watched us in 85/86, and supporter would say it was the wingers that stood out. There was me on the left and him on the right.
“He was absolute quality. I’m a Newcastle fan and he was a good pro so I did look up to him in some ways.
“He was pretty quiet and unassuming. A real genuine lad.
“We haven’t kept in touch, but it’s a big shock. I’ve had so many calls and texts.”
Nigel had spells with Crewe Alexandra and Chester City before his time with Hartlepool United.
He also spent part of his career playing in the USA, where he lined up for the San Diego Sockers.
Nigel became a maths teacher after retiring from the game.
Tributes have poured in on social media network Twitter as news of Nigel’s death spread on Sunday evening.
A tweet from Hartlepool United’s official account said: “We’re sorry to learn of the death of former Pools star Nigel Walker. Played 92 times between 1985-1987. Our sympathies are with his family.”