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Friday, 5 July, 2002, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
Walker seals Forest return
Des Walker played for Burton Albion last season
Walker appeared for Burton Albion last season
Nottingham Forest have signed veteran defender Des Walker on a one-year contract.

The 36-year-old City Ground hero earned his second spell at the club by impressing manager Paul Hart in a trial period at the end of last season.

Walker began training with Forest in March after being released by Sheffield Wednesday last summer.

And Hart was sufficiently impressed by the former England international's attitude to make him his first signing of the summer.


Des is the fittest 36-year-old I've ever seen
Paul Hart
Forest manager

The Forest boss said: "Des came to us having not done too much training since leaving Sheffield Wednesday last year.

"But he came in flying. He never missed a day's training and played a few reserve games along the way," he told the club website.

"I haven't brought him in solely for the ability he will bring us out on the pitch but also for his influence in the dressing room on young people.

"That's just as important to me as what actually happens on the pitch."

Stronger

Walker began his professional career at Forest under Brian Clough 19 years ago.

He made 350 appearances for the club before joining Sampdoria for 1.5m in 1992.

Walker said of his return to the City Ground: "It's a great day for me. I love this football club and it's a great feeling to be a Forest player again.

Forest boss Paul Hart was impressed by Walker's attitude
Boss Paul Hart is an old team-mate of Walker
"My main thing when I came back last season to train with Forest was to get myself fully fit again.

"I'm starting to achieve that now - I feel a lot stronger and a lot fitter and my next objective is to get into the team.

"I've signed for 12 months and I'm not really looking any further forward than that.

"But if I get in the team and make my mark, I'll try and stay here as long as I can."

And Hart, who played alongside Walker during his first spell at the club, believes the 59-cap international can continue well beyond the coming campaign.

"He's the fittest 36-year-old I've ever seen and if he feels he can carry on, who is to say he won't be around for longer than the next 12 months," Hart said.

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