(Wednesday 19th December 2001)
Richard Walker - Hooray, Wycombe is a bigger club than Blackpool, that should wind up those Northern goons - oops I've just signed for them Richard Walker is set to sign a permanent deal with Blackpool after turning down the offer of an 18 month contract with Wycombe. The 24 year old striker will travel to Blackpool on Thursday (20th December) to finalise a deal that is thought to last until the end of the 2003/4 season. The fee will be around the £100,000 mark.

Walker originally came to Wycombe in September on a month's loan from Aston Villa. The deal was later extended to three months and despite missing three games due to a red card he had obviously done enough to impress Lawrie Sanchez.

Walker scored 4 goals during his 11 game loan spell with Wycombe and would have been free to walk away from Villa Park at the end of the season on a 'Bosman free'. Negotiations on the deal saw Wycombe Chairman Ivor Beeks try to persuade Villa boss and former Wycombe Manager, John Gregory, to drop the asking price on Walker but ultimately it was the length of contract on offer that was the stumbling block.

Walker has aleady spent a brief spell on loan at Bloomfield Road last season but he gave hope that he would sign for Wycombe when he told the Bucks Free Press, "I had good times at Blackpool but this is where I want to be. Wycombe is a bigger club and I think they've got a better chance of getting promoted."

The player seemed to enjoy his time with Wycombe and fitted in well on the pitch and behind the scenes. He added "From day one I've always said I want to stay. Everyone has looked after me. The players have been great, the coaching staff have been great and so have the supporters. Everything has been superb."

However he's now opted for a move to Blackpool, commenting to the Villa Official website "I know the set-up at Blackpool, because I had a loan spell with them. So Iím excited about the move. This could be the opportunity to really get my career off the ground."

Wycombe were due to play Blackpool at Adams Park on Saturday 5th January in Division Two but this has been postponed due to the FA Cup Third Round. The game has since been re-arranged for Tuesday 12th February.

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