Kevin Walker.

Sing when you're winning: Irish footballer appears on Swedish Pop Idol

Kevin Walker is participating on the reality television show while holding down a place in the GIF Sundsvall midfield.

POP IDOL MAY be a distant memory in Ireland and the UK, with the The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent ruling the talent show roost recently.

But in Sweden, the talent show is still going strong. Tonight, it returns for its ninth season and for Swedish football fans, there’ll be a familiar face among the hopefuls.

Swedish-Irish midfielder Kevin Walker plays for second tier side GIF Sundsvall, currently top of the Superettan and leading the race for promotion to Sweden’s top flight. On Sunday, Walker starred in a 4-2 win over Varberg that lifted them to the top of the league for the first time this season.

Born in Örebro, Kevin is the son of Carlow born Pat Walker, a former Republic of Ireland U21 cap and ex-Gillingham and Bohemians defender.

Despite only turning 24 earlier this month, Kevin’s career has been a nomadic one to date, turning out for no fewer than five teams in Sweden, including hometown club Örebro and AIK Solna in the top flight. As a youngster, he even represented Sweden at U17 and U19 and was set to debut for their U21s, before a career threatening illness put paid to those ambitions.

Now though, with Sundsvall riding high in the league, Walker has turned to his other great love, the music.

As seen in tonight’s show and previewed below, Kevin appears to impress the judges with a soulful rendition of Gavin DeGraw’s ‘Soldier’, accompanied by his own acoustic guitar.

Whether or not he gets through and can follow the great pantheon of footballers who have impacted on the charts – Barnes, Hoddle and Waddle, Gazza and erm, Andy Cole – remains to be seen.

You can read The Emerald Exiles interview with Kevin Walker here

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