Question: Who was the last former Albion player to pull on an England shirt?

Nope. You’re all wrong.

Actually it was Darren Bradley. Let me explain…

The scorer of one of the most famous Albion goals of the 1990s – more about that later – played more than 250 times for the Baggies during a nine-year period.

From the lows of relegation and Woking, to the heights of Wembley play-off success and THAT goal against that lot.

He saw a lot during his time at The Hawthorns.

But these days Bradley takes his football a little but more slowly – by walking around, as it happens.

Yes, the 53-year-old has taken to walking football.

Representing Birmingham Walking Football Club, Bradley has not only played for his home city with distinction but also gone onto represent his country, making eight appearances for the England side.

So how did he get into it?

“I got pestered and pestered by my brother-in-law to try it…so eventually I did,” said Bradley.

“Birmingham Walking was started by Paul Murtagh and Dave Castle, with my ex-Villa team-mate Dave Norton also involved.

“I went along and really enjoyed it. It’s more physical than I thought it would be but it’s a great way of keeping fit and still enjoying football.”

Bradley explains the laws of walking football. 

“It’s six-a-side, played on about a quarter of a football pitch and goalkeepers cannot leave their D. We generally play 35-minutes each way but it depends on how many teams are in a tournament. 

“The rules are that you can’t go above head height and, of course, you play at the rate you can walk. You can walk as fast as you can get away with but you can only walk.

“Being an ex-footballer does help because you’re generally better than those who aren’t, although only two can be on the pitch at any one time. 

“In some respects that can be a leveller – you could have the best footballer against you but he won’t get away because you’re walking.  It’s all about close ball control.”

Bradley hopes to be involved in the European Championships later this year.

He won’t be the first notable footballing name to play in a walking football tournament.

Former Liverpool defender and twice European Cup winner Alan Kennedy was part of an over-60s side that beat Italy 2-0 in the JUST International Cup last year, alongside Tommy Charlton, brother of England legends Sir Bobby and Jack.

Bradley added: “England has an excellent side made up of people from around the country. I’ve played eight games for England now and it’s good fun.

“I was in the over-50s team. We (Birmingham) represented England in a home nations tournament. We beat Wales 9-0 in the final, which was a bit of a farce really. They’ve got better since but we still beat them 5-0 following that and also beat Italy 2-0. The England side is pretty good and will take some beating, but at the moment we’re the best out there.

“We have the Euros in June at St George’s Park and we also have an away game in Milan, so hopefully I’ll be involved but it’s good to see the sport has taken off. And it’s far more competitive than people think.

“You certainly feel it the following day – I had 14 knee operations during my playing career so you do feel it at my age, even though it isn’t the hardest work. I basically tape my knees up and get on with it.”

From an Albion point of view, Bradley is fondly remembered for one moment.

“It’s come out of a cannon that…the keeper’s never moved.”

A famous Albion commentary, courtesy of ITV’s co-commentator and then Birmingham City boss Terry Cooper.

If Cooper’s delivery was a little clumsy, there was nothing awkward about Bradley’s 30-yard finish against Wolves following a brilliant run by Wayne Fereday and a lay-off by Andy Hunt. 
Keith Burkinshaw’s men were to win 3-2.

“I still get asked about that goal and I love that people remember it so fondly,” he added.

“It was such a great game, definitely one my career highlights.

“Football was a great career for me. I had so many operations on my knees and they still hurt the following day after I’ve played walking football….but I wouldn’t have swapped my playing career for the world.”

These days Bradley works outside of football, as co-owner of WET Global – a water enhancement company.

“I’ve been doing it for more than 10 years now,” he continued.

“We supply a lot of teams with high quality water – rugby, football, athletics, cycling and others.

“It’s a very natural process. We make water incredibly good for them. We take out heavy metals, chlorine, pesticides and make it purer. 

“It’s a growing industry as people are becoming more aware of it. We are talking to Pepsi, Coke and other firms… so hopefully it’ll be a business that continues to prosper.”

In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled when England’s walking football team play: you might just see a former Albion captain in action…