Record appearance maker on his mentor...SADDLERS' record appearance maker, James Walker, has added his praise to the work of Mick Kearns, whose full-time role at Banks's Stadium came to an end today.
Walker first arrived at the club 20 years ago this summer having been released by Notts County. It was a make-or-break time for him in his quest to carve out a career for himself as a professional footballer, but Kearns took him under his wing straight away and the rest, as they say, is history.
"I wouldn't have had half the career I did without Mick Kearns," said Wacka without hesitation. "He was a mentor to me from the first day that I set foot in the club right up to the very last day.
"He remains a good friend and I have so much time and respect for the man.
"He has dedicated so much of his life to the club and his presence on a day-to-day basis will be sorely missed.
"It's good that he will remain involved on a matchday and in an ambassadorial role for the club because he still has so much to give.
"Mick's retirement comes on the back of that of another club legend who was always great with me, Roy Whalley.
"He's another man who has dedicated so many years to the club and worked tirelessly behind-the-scenes. He's given me tremendous support and I will always be grateful for that.
"Seeing both Mick and Roy retire is like the end of an era."
Walker will be back at Banks's Stadium in November having agreed to extend his deal as Goalkeeping Coach at Peterborough United.