Doncaster News and Features: Famous Doncastrian: Karen Walker
Born in Mexborough, Karen Walker is a former centre-forward for the English Nation Team and for Doncaster Belles. She played for the Belles through their vintage period and became captain for many years and her career with them spanned 17 years. She made 83 appearances for England scoring a record 40 goals.
'Kaz' Walker is particularly remembered for her performances in the 1995 World Cup in Sweden. She finished her career playing for Leeds United, and in her very last game, against Arsenal in the 2006 FA Cup Final, she left the pitch to a standing ovation.
Walker's neighbour, Karen Skillcorn, was already playing for Doncaster Belles and recruited Walker when she was just 15. After a period as a substitute, Walker became first choice when the club's regular centre-forward became pregnant.
She is famously known for scoring a hat trick in every round of the Cup, during one impressive cup run at the Belles.
So prolific and impressive was her debut on the womens football scene, that she made her England debut while a teenager too in July 1988. Her first game was against an Italy B team in the Mundialito tournament - she scored with her first touch, and her career was blossoming. Karen also scored a hat trick for England Ladies against Slovenia in 1993.
In a long career with the club she eventually played in 11 FA Women's Cup finals, winning five of them. With the formation of the National Division in 1991, Walker scored 36 goals in 14 games to help Doncaster win the inaugural title.
Karen retired from England duty in 2003 after winning Sky Sports International Player of the year 2002-2003.
In 2007 she was part of the BBC team covering the FIFA Women's World Cup in China and was later that year inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.