Yesterday morning saw Sunderland take to Twitter to confirm the sad news that their goalkeeping coach Jimmy Walker would be departing the club to take up the role with Ipswich Town. On the Sunderland website, the club confirmed that Walker’s departure is so he can be closer to his family and no one at Sunderland was going to prevent him from leaving for those reasons.
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) 6 November 2018
Jack Ross appointed Walker at the start of the season but it seems that the last few months have been much too difficult for the 45-year-old and he’ll be delighted to be moving back down south to work with a club that is closet to home. The Black Cats now have the job of replacing the goalkeeping expert as they aim to keep it tight at the back in their quest for promotion back to the Championship in their first season in League One.
Jimmy Walker is described as being a big character at the club and whilst off the pitch he was well-liked, on the pitch he did his job, as Jon McLaughlin has been benefiting from the 45-year-old’s coaching, conceding just 13 goals in League One so far, the lowest total of any starting goalkeeper in the division. Whilst Sunderland’s four clean sheets could certainly be improved on, the fact that they’ve shipped less than any other team is a testament to the work of Jimmy Walker and he is a figure will certainly be missed.
You can read The Black Cats’ verdict on Walker’s exit here:
— Scott (@s_rush57) November 6, 2018
All the best Jimmy lad, we're losing a big character here it seems. Shame but family always comes first
— Gary Baker (@GazbSAFC) November 6, 2018
He seems a decent bloke to be fair – good luck
— Mark Burke (@MSBurkey) November 6, 2018
Best of luck @jimmywalker001, made a big impact here and will be a miss but family comes first
— Ian Miller (@ic_miller78) November 6, 2018
He’ll be a big miss around the AOL.
— Matthew (@MJacko1989) November 6, 2018
Best of luck Jim no doubt your a top bloke and great coach !
— Adam Baker (@Adam_baker1490) November 6, 2018
All the best mate! Very big part of the the turnaround here at Sunderland and you'll be remembered for that!
— Scott Marsden (@ScottMarsden90) November 6, 2018
Sunderland fans everywhere will be gutted to see Walker leaving but they’ll be keen to see him do well in his new role at Ipswich Town.