85 (18)



by Dave Usher

Under different circumstances, Walshie would have been an all time Liverpool great.  In terms of natural talent and ability, few players who have worn the famous red shirt can compete with Paul Walsh. 

Blessed with electric pace, he combined perfect balance with wonderful close control and possessed a powerful shot in either foot as well.  The only drawback to Walsh's game was an unfortunate susceptibility to injury. 

In the three and a half years he spent at Anfield, he was struck down with serious injuries to his knee, ankle, stomach and wrist amongst other things, and never managed to string more than a dozen or so consecutive appearances together.  When he was fit though, he was a joy to watch. 

He joined the reds from Luton having just been voted 'young player of the year', and scored just 15 seconds into his Anfield debut against West Ham.  He was just beginning to show signs of developing a good understanding with Ian Rush, when  a knee injury ruled him out for two months. 

That pattern was to continue throughout his time at the club, but in between those enforced lay offs, Liverpool fans were treated to some wonderful entertainment from the likeable young Londoner. 

His finest hour was probably his match winning display against Austria Vienna at Anfield in the European Cup, where he scored twice and then missed a penalty.  Another highlight would have to be his last second equaliser in the '84 FA Cup semi-final against the mancs at Goodison Park, when he bundled the ball over the line with his stomach to spark wild celebrations in the Liverpool end. 

His best run of form came in the double season, when he hit ten goals in an almost unbroken run of 16 games, including two goals in an FA Cup tie against Watford at Vicarage Road.  That game was shown live on the BBC and such was the impression that Walshie's performance had on the nation, that there was a clamour for him to be recalled to the England squad. 

One month later and any hopes Walsh had of making it into Bobby Robson's squad for Mexico 86 lay in tatters, as an ankle injury picked up against the mancs at Anfield ended his season.  He missed the run in to the double, and was reduced to the role of helpless spectator as  the reds beat the blues at Wembley to seal the Double. 

There were more sporadic glimpses of brilliance from the crowd favourite, including a hat-trick at Anfield against Norwich, but the arrival of first Aldridge, and then Barnes and Beardsley signalled the end for the popular cockney, and he moved to Spurs for £500,000 in February 1988. 

As well as the catalogue of injuries he suffered, he was also unfortunate in that his Anfield career was sandwiched between those of Kenny Dalglish and Peter Beardsley, although in the case of Beardsley, Walsh was probably given a raw deal. 

Beardsley eventually proved his worth to the club of course, but for the first four or five months he was not in the best of form, but having shelled out a then club record £1.9million for the Geordie, there was no way Dalglish was going to leave him out, regardless of how well Walsh was performing in the reserves. 

Eventually Walsh realised that he wasn't going to get a look in, and moved on to White Hart Lane, where won an FA Cup winners medal, before moving on to Portsmouth, Man City, and then returning to Pompey where his career was ended prematurely by a cruciate knee ligament injury. 


by Chris Wood

Born in South London in October 1962, Paul made his name as a teenager with his local club Charlton Athletic before moving on to Luton Town and enjoying two good years with "the Hatters" (scoring 24 times from 80 League games) before making a high-profile move to Merseyside in the summer of 1984.

With Ian Rush being sidelined at the start of the 1984-85 season due to injury, Paul went straight into the first-team and scored after just fifteen seconds of his home debut against West Ham United. 

He played in the opening 10 League games but was injured in the 10th at White Hart Lane and as that injury coincided with Rush's return to full fitness, he was in and out of the team for the rest of the season, although he did score three times in Liverpool's run to their 5th European cup final and played in the ill-fated final against Juventus in Brussels.

Paul was never really a first-team regular during his brief time on Merseyside. The longest run of consecutive League matches he played during the 'Double' season of 1985-86 was just ten.  However, he did contribute 11 important goals although he only figured once in the remarkable run-in of 11 wins and 1 draw from the final dozen First Division fixtures which saw Liverpool climb over their city-neighbours Everton, who had won 2-0 at Anfield just before that remarkable run began. 

The arrival of John Aldridge from Oxford United early in 1987 meant that Paul was surplus to requirements at Anfield and it was no surprise when, having made only one League "start" in 1987-88, he accepted an offer to join Tottenham Hotspur. His scoring record with Liverpool had been perfectly acceptable (35 from 103 games in all competitions) but it was clear that he could not compete with the big-name arrivals that had signed for Liverpool since his own arrival on Merseyside three and a half years previously.


For more on Walshie check out "There's only one Paul Walsh"




All contents © Liverpool Way - Pages designed by Haje Jan Kamps