Walsall today announced legendary goalkeeper Jimmy Walker has retired.
The 39-year-old has left as player-coach and said: "This has been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make,” said Walker.
“This club is very close to my heart and will always be part of me. However, things have not panned out as I would have hoped this season and I have not been able to play as influential a role as I would have liked.
“I am at a stage of my career where I need to take stock and consider my options.
“One of my proudest ever moments was becoming the Saddlers’ all-time appearance record-holder and that will live with me until the end of my days.
“I wish the club all the best in the future; we have a young and exciting team at present and the future looks bright.
“Most of all I’d like to thank the supporters who have taken me in as one of their own and made my time here something I will never forget.”
Walsall chief executive Stefan Gamble, paid tribute to Walker, saying: “Jimmy goes down in history as one of the club’s greatest-ever players and the all-time appearance record holder.
“It will be many years before that record is broken, if ever. He has been a fantastic servant to the club and I would like to place on record our thanks and wish him well in the future.”
Walker made 476 appearances for the Saddlers in his first spell between 1993-2004, becoming a cult figure with fans after playing a part in three successful promotions.
He returned to the club in October, 2010, and on January 14, 2012, he made his 530th senior appearance for the club, beating Colin Harrison’s Walsall appearance record, which had stood for 30 years. He became player-coach in July 2012.