Bulls star Chev Walker announces retirement

Bradford Bulls captain Chev Walker has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

The former Great Britain international, who turns 33 next week, has brought the curtain down on an illustrious 17-year career.

Utility star Walker debuted for hometown club Leeds Rhinos in 1999, aged just 16, and went on to make almost 200 appearances for the Headingley club.

Following Grand Final and World Club Challenge success with the Rhinos, Walker switched codes, penning a two-year contract with Premiership giants Bath.

But by 2008 he was back in Rugby League, plying his trade with Hull Kingston Rovers.

Walker joined Bradford Bulls ahead of the 2011 season and has spent the past five years at the Provident Stadium, Odsal.

However, after today confirming his retirement, the former Yorkshire and England representative is looking forward to what his future might hold.

“My body is telling me that it is time to hang up the boots,” explained Walker.

“I will certainly miss being around the boys and training with them and I am disappointed to have not been able contribute as much as I would have liked on the pitch this season.

“But I hope I have been a positive presence around the club and in the dressing room.

“To be a part of the group which gets the Bulls back into Super League would be very special and would go down as one of my greatest achievements.

“I have been lucky to enjoy a fantastic career, playing across two codes, and achieving great things along the way.”

James Lowes handed Walker a one-year contract and the club’s captaincy reins at the end of last term.

And the Bradford boss has paid tribute to his former international team-mate.

“Chev has had a fantastic professional career and I have known him for many years,” said Lowes.

“I was on Great Britain duty with him in 2002 and I even shared a room with him on the New Zealand series at home.

“Over the 18 months I have spent alongside him here at Bradford, he has shown that he hasn’t changed one bit. He still has that youthful bounce about what he does.

“Sadly, though, there comes a time when a player has to announce their retirement, like I did, or when your body tells you that you have had enough.

“His career in general has been fantastic; he has been an international and certainly been an outstanding professional since I have been at the club.

“It is a tough time when people are forced to retire, but we wish him all of the very best.

“He will certainly play a key role over the next week or so, as a captain away from the field, with a massive game in store.

“He is still our captain and he still has a season to complete. He will have a major influence on the boys before he brings it all to an end.”