Championship club snap up former Super League young gun with utility making move to hometown club

Ben Olawumi
Brad Walker

Brad Walker warms up ahead of a Wakefield Trinity game in 2022 - Alamy

Utility Brad Walker has joined hometown club Barrow Raiders on a two-year deal, making the move from Keighley and remaining in the Championship having been relegated with the Cougars this term.

The 25-year-old featured at Super League level for both Widnes Vikings and Wakefield Trinity before linking up with Keighley ahead of the 2023 season.

Born in Barrow, Walker joined Widnes’ academy as a youngster and debuted for the Chemics in 2016 against Castleford Tigers.

Having briefly featured on loan for North Wales Crusaders, he departed the Vikings – with 40 appearances to his name – for Wakefield ahead of the 2020 season.

The versatile half-back can also slot in at loose, and found gametime hard to come by during his three-season stint at Belle Vue, playing just 25 games with one on loan for Newcastle Thunder thrown in, before joining Keighley.

He now inks a deal with Paul Crarey’s Raiders until the end of the 2025 season having appeared for Cumbria in Kyle Amor’s testimonial against Wales in October.

Barrow Raiders snap up former Super League ace, hometown boy Brad Walker from Keighley Cougars

Barrow confirmed Walker’s move to Craven Park via their club website this morning. He becomes their 19th confirmed squad member for the upcoming campaign, which will be their third consecutive in the Championship.

The hometown ace said: “I’m really excited about getting stuck in. I’ve known Cresta [Paul Crarey] and a lot of the lads for a long time since growing up.

“Being a Barrow fan when I was younger, I always wanted to play for the club at one time in my career. It’s the right move for me at this time.

“The last couple of years have been difficult, and I haven’t been enjoying my rugby the most, so this is a good opportunity for me to kick on and rediscover my best form.

“Knowing I’ll be playing with a lot of the lads I grew up with makes the transition easier. I know what this group can do, and we’re ready to step things up this year. Hopefully I can work hard in pre-season, have a good start to the year and make a name for myself at this club.”

Barrow head coach Crarey took charge of the Cumbria team in Amor’s testimonial earlier this year, and says he knows how important it is for the Raiders to harness local lads like Walker.

Crarey added: “It’s great news for the club that another local product is returning to the area to play for his hometown club in the shape of Brad Walker.

“I have followed Brad’s career closely since his junior days, and he was outstanding against us for Keighley earlier in the year. He is equally at home playing six or 13, and his versatility and toughness will give us lots of options.”

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