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Questions & Answers - Andy Walker


By Mark Heys & Andy Walker
June 1 2007

When you look back on Andy Walker's time with Bolton Wanderers you cannot help but think of promotions, FA Cup runs and serious knee injuries and even now thirteen years after his departure from Burnden Park the Scotsman is still well thought of by the Trotters faithful. Now a regular columnist with the Scottish newspaper The Sunday Mail, Walker was one of Phil Neal's last signings as Bolton Wanderers manager when arriving initially on loan from Scottish giants Celtic in January 1992.

Andy paid back Bolton's £165,000 investment in him by the end of his first season with the club as in only five months he became Bolton's top goalscorer for the 1991-1992 season with an impressive 15 goals.

The following season was perhaps his best in a Wanderers shirt and this forever booked him a place in the hearts the Bolton public who saw him play.

Forming a useful partnership with fellow Scot John McGinlay, he hit an incredible 33 goals as Bolton won promotion from Division 2 in Bruce Rioch's first full season in charge.

Sadly a serious knee injury picked up in a 3-1 home win over Swansea City in April 1993 ruled him out of Bolton's promotion party, but no one could ever doubt his contribution to the clubs rise from the doldrums.

He scored a number of goals in Bolton's cup runs between 1993 and 1994 including memorable strikes away at Liverpool and Arsenal but sadly he returned to Scotland with Celtic in the summer of 1994 and later returned to England via brief spells with Sheffield United and Carlisle United.

Here we talk to the one and only Andy Walker about his time South of the Border.

What do you remember about your debut?
I remember my debut for Bolton very well. It was away to Exeter City and must have been January 1992 and I was so annoyed that Phil Neal had made me a sub.
I had been training with the team for a few days and all I said to Phil was that I was frustrated at Celtic and for that reason was so looking forward to playing some games.
But I came on for Mike Jeffrey in the second half and managed to score after a flick on from Tony Philliskirk. I might have had another but we lost a goal late on and it finished 2-2. That was the beginning of my month-long loan period and I think I scored five goals in six games. Great days!.
When did you score your first goal?
Against Exeter in 1992 (see above)
What where your career highlights/lowlights?
My career highlights were establishing myself at Motherwell, my first club. After three years with them I was tapped by Celtic, the team I had supported as a boy.

My heroes at that time were Kenny Dalglish and Jimmy Johnstone, 2 great entertainers. It was a dream to play for them and amazing to finish my first season as top scorer and to have played a part in winning the league and the cup.

Every season had a highlight – scoring goals, playing in Europe; if you`re born and bred in Glasgow and end up playing for your team, it doesn`t get any better than being part of a successful side.

Moving to Bolton and being part of a successful side there was a huge and unexpected highlight. I loved my time at Bolton.

The fans were very good to me, I played in a winning team and it was a great period in my life.I really enjoyed living and working in the North West.

Playing for Scotland was another highlight. I only managed 3 caps but felt great pride each time.

Who did you room with on away trips when at Bolton?
I roomed with a few guys at Bolton. Down in Exeter it was Tony Philliskirk, I shared a room with Phil Brown for a while, Julian Darby was another and once or twice John McGinlay.
What do you think of the current Bolton team and do you get to see them often?
I`m delighted Bolton are now an established Premiership side. I don`t get to see them much but if I got the chance I`d love to take in a game.
All my memories of Bolton are at Burnden Park and that will always be a special place for me.

I only played at the Reebok once, in John McGinlay`s testimonial, and it was very impressive.

Who did you support during your youth and who where your heroes?.
Celtic and my heroes where Kenny Dalglish and Jimmy Johnstone
Which person influenced your career the most?
There`s been a number of people who influenced and shaped my career.

Bill Livingston at Eastercraigs Amateurs was the first one to tell me I had a chance of being a player. I listened to him.

Tommy McLean was a great coach to work with at my first club Motherwell. He completely changed how I looked at a game and converted me into a striker. I`m grateful to him for that.

Billy McNeill, Phil Neal and Bruce Rioch were all good to work for.

Walking Down The Manny Road would like to thank Andy for spending some time talking to us. Andy was one of the greatest Wanderers finishers of recent times and he is proving to be as good a journalist as he was a striker.

Any Bolton fans interested in reading Andy's thoughts on the game today can do so by purchasing the Sunday Mail newspaper or by logging on to:

http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/opinion/

Please click here to view our profile of Andy Walker

Click here to see Andy's match winning goal against Liverpool in that famous FA Cup victory at Anfield in 1993.

Click here to see Andy score his first goal since coming back from injury in that 3-1 win over Arsenal at Highbury in 1994.

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