Paul Walsh


Paul Walsh

Football player infobox
playername = Paul Walsh


fullname = Paul Anthony Walsh
height =
nickname =
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1962|10|1|df=y
cityofbirth = Plumstead
countryofbirth = England
currentclub = Retired
position = Striker
youthyears =
youthclubs =
years = 1979-1982
1982-1984
1984-1988
1988-1992
1991
1992-1994
1994-1995
1995-1996
clubs = Charlton Athletic
Luton Town
Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur
Queens Park Rangers (loan)
Portsmouth
Manchester City
Portsmouth
caps(goals) = 87 (24)
80 (24)
77 (25)
128 (19)
2 (0)
73 (14)
53 (16)
21 (5)
nationalyears = 1982-1983
1983-1984
nationalteam = England U21
England
nationalcaps(goals) = 4 (4)
5 (1)

Paul Anthony Walsh (born 1 October 1962 in Plumstead, London) was a diminutive and pacy centre forward who shot to fame in the 1980s after joining Liverpool.

Working career

Charlton Athletic

Walsh began his career at Charlton where he quickly established himself in the team, he made his debut as a 16 year-old substitute in a Second Division fixture with Shrewsbury Town during the 1979/80 season and went on to appear in 9 league games as Charlton failed to hold to their second division status. Walsh was given a chance in the Division Three and struck up a brilliant front line with Addicks great Derek Hales. Walsh notably scored a hat-trick against Brentford, Charlton won the League Cup tie 5-0. Charlton went on to gain promotion as well as reach the 5th round of the FA Cup. Walsh enjoyed himself in the higher division bagging a respectable 13 goals as the Addicks finished mid table.

Luton Town

Still only a 19 year-old and after just 87 league appearances Luton signed Walsh for £400,000 on the 26 July 1982 Luton had just gain promotion to English football's top flight and were hoping that Walsh's ability to make something out of nothing would help them stay there. Luton struggled to contain the quality of the First Division attacks but they managed to survive the drop by winning their final game of the season against Manchester City at Maine Road. His impish, natural predatory instincts around the penalty area earned him the first of five caps for England and in 1983, Bobby Robson gave Paul his debut on the 12 June in a friendly with Australia at Sydney, the first of the 3 match tour ended in a 0-0 draw, Walsh scored his only goal for his country in the following match against the Aussies, the match was played in Brisbane on the 16th and Walsh's goal was the only goal of the game. Walsh's performances and ability were recognised by his fellow professionals as he won the PFA Young Player of the Year award in '84.

Liverpool

He was purchased by Joe Fagan for Liverpool on the 21 May 1984 for £700,000, he made his debut on the 18 August '84 in the 1-0 Charity Shield defeat to derby rivals Everton. With Ian Rush injured at the start of his first season, Walsh was expected to slot in alongside Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish straightaway, this he did with aplomb, skill and trickery leading the line with confidence. It didn't take him long to open his goal scoring account either, it came mere seconds into his 3rd game for the Reds, his Anfield debut, against West Ham United on the 27 August, the Reds went on to win 3-0.

As Liverpool's campaign to defend the European Cup gathered pace, Walsh scored crucial goals in latter stages of the competition, including two in the quarter finals against Austria Vienna, missing out on a hat-trick when the opposing goalkeeper saved his penalty. Liverpool made the final and Walsh was selected by manager Joe Fagan to start the game, but the Heysel Stadium disaster put his joy into perspective, and Liverpool ultimately lost the match.

Walsh was cursed with poor luck the following season, suffering niggling injuries and thereby necessitating Dalglish's appearance in the side more than the new player-manager would have possibly preferred. An ankle injury suffered in February 1986 put paid to Walsh's season as Liverpool won the League championship and FA Cup "double". Walsh played enough games for a title medal but missed the FA Cup final victory over fierce Merseyside rivals Everton.

Dalglish scaled down his playing career the following year, and Walsh got more of a look-in after recovering from another injury which had ruled him out of the opening dozen games. He played in the 1987 League Cup final but Liverpool lost 2-1 to Arsenal and Walsh was dropped afterwards.

A trophyless season meant that Dalglish spent big on new players to revive Liverpool's fortunes and Walsh suffered as a result as John Aldridge was bought to replace Rush as the natural finisher of the team with Peter Beardsley coming in at huge expense to provide the craft. This new strike partnership was an instant success as Liverpool went unbeaten for a record-equalling first 29 games of the season while Walsh, having unwisely questioned Dalglish's offer of a role in midfield, was relegated to a few cursory appearances as a substitute. Whilst Liverpool waltzed to the League title Walsh was on the move having not made enough appearances to qualify for a medal.

Tottenham Hotspur

After 112 games and 37 goals, a goal every 3.03 games, for Liverpool Walsh joined Tottenham for half a million pounds on the 16 February 1988, beginning a spell of productive but short-lived spells at a number of different clubs. Walsh made his league debut 7 days later on the 23 February in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford. After forming a productive partnership with Paul Stewart Walsh helped Spurs to a respectable 6th place, however, he suffered the following season as the White Hart Lane club brought Gary Lineker back to England from Spain, it was he that made way making most of his 25 appearances from the bench as Spurs finished 3rd, he did enjoy one particular game that season, it was the North London derby win over Arsenal at home, Walsh opened the scoring. His only medal at Spurs came when they won the FA Cup in 1991, coming on as a substitute at Wembley.

Walsh spent one more season at Spurs helping them to the semi-final of the League Cup where they lost to Nottingham Forest. The addition of Gordon Durie to the squad made it increasingly difficult for Paul to gain a starting role, he also played twice on loan at Queens Park Rangers, and when Spurs showed an interest in Darren Anderton Walsh was used as a bargaining tool.

Portsmouth (first spell)

Walsh had played 158 times for Spurs scoring 21 goals before he moved to the South Coast in a deal worth around £400,000 on the 3 June 1992, Walsh being the makeweight in a plus cash player exchange for Darren Anderton. Walsh made his Pompey debut on the 15 August '92 in the 3-3 league draw with Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

Walsh became a cult hero at Portsmouth. In the 1992–1993 season, Portsmouth placed third in the First Division, missing out on automatic promotion to the Premier League (as it was named at the time) on goal difference to West Ham United, and Guy Whittingham broke goalscoring records for Portsmouth, who were the strongest side in the division in the second half of the season following a lukewarm start. Despite Whittingham's goalscoring exploits, the Pompey fans voted Walsh their player of the year, recognising that it was his guile and craft that made the Portsmouth attack so effective. Whittingham was sold to Aston Villa in the summer of 1993, and Walsh subsequently formed a solid partnership with another former Liverpool player, John Durnin, but the potency of the Portsmouth side had faded. However, it was in the post-Whittingham era that Walsh had what was arguably his best game in the blue of Portsmouth, on the 12 January 1994 in a Coca-Cola Cup fifth round tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Going into the game as huge underdogs, Portsmouth shocked the Premiership champions by earning a replay at Fratton Park with a 2-2 draw. Walsh had a fantastic game and scored both goals, and United were lucky to survive a late penalty appeal. Unfortunately for Portsmouth fans, United won the replay at Fratton Park by a goal to nil.

After 73 league appearances for Portsmouth, Walsh was on the move once more, much to the distress of the Portsmouth fans.

Manchester City

Walsh's career took him to Manchester City, when Brian Horton paid Portsmouth £750,000 for the striker's services on the 10 March '94. He made his City bow two days later on the 12th, in the 1-0 league defeat to Wimbledon at Maine Road. He scored six times in the remaining ten fixtures, helping push City away from the relegation zone and up into a safe 16th position in the table, forming an exciting partnership with fellow City newcomer Uwe Rösler. He began the following campaign in stunning form, scoring twice in games against Southampton, Everton and his former club Spurs. City failed to maintain their good start to the season, however, and finished the campaign in 17th position. However, Walsh had endeared himself to the City faithful, who appreciated his energetic, all-action performances. The famous Spurs match in particular demonstrated Walsh's skill, tenacity and determination, orchestrating the destruction of Spurs in an unforgettable afternoon. When new manager Alan Ball swapped Walsh plus cash for Portsmouth's Gerry Creaney fans were shocked and questioned the deal, just as the Portsmouth fans had when he was sold to City the previous year.

Portsmouth (second spell)

Paul managed 21 more league appearances before suffering a cruciate ligament injury to the knee in 1996 which brought his career to an end.

Retirement

After ending his career, Walsh has worked in the media, providing studio-based match analysis for both ITV and Sky Sports appearing regularly on Soccer Saturday and Football First.

Walsh appears regularly for the Liverpool veterans side who have dominated the Sky Sports Masters series in recent years, ironically, linking up with former Portsmouth teammate John Durnin to once again form their deadly partnership.

Where ever Paul plied his trade he made a good impression on the supporters, this was the case with the Anfield faithful. A poll compiled by the official Liverpool Football Club web site during the summer of 2006 called 100 Players Who Shook The Kop backed up this fact. 110,000 Reds worldwide voted for their favourite 100 players of all time with Walsh finishing in 71st position.

Career Honours

Honours As Player

flagicon|England Liverpool

Winner
* 1985-86 League Championship (Level 1)
* 1985-86 Screen Sports Super Cup

Runner Up
* 1984-85 Charity Shield
* 1984-85 European Super Cup
* 1984-85 League Championship (Level 1)
* 1984-85 European Cup
* 1986-87 League Cup
* 1986-87 League Championship (Level 1)

flagicon|England Tottenham Hotspur

Winner
* 1990-91 FA Cup

External links

* [http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/team/past_players/players/walsh/ Official past players at liverpoolfc.net]
* [http://www.lfchistory.net/player_profile.asp?player_id=436 Player profile at LFChistory.net]


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