First posted on Facebook on April 6th, 2016
Andy Walker will be 51 today. Like Alfie Conn, whose birthday it was yesterday, Andy had a short Scotland career playing three games for total of 112 minutes. Unlike Alfie, whose Scotland career lasted four days; Andy’s lasted just over 6 years.
He was first capped as a Celtic player, having previously played with Motherwell, in May 1988 against Colombia in the Rous Cup at Hampden. Andy came on in the 67th minute for Kevin Gallacher, also making his debut. The game ended in a nil nil draw despite Scotland having McCoist, Mo Johnston, Gallacher and Andy all on at various points in the game.
Andy would move from Celtic a few years later and enjoy a great spell with Bolton, mainly in the second tier of English football including scoring in a memorable FA Cup defeat of Liverpool at Anfield. Andy led the line with fellow Scot and soon to be Tartan Army hero John McGinlay, scoring 44 League goals in 67 League appearances for the Trotters. (The photo shows Andy on the right and John McGinlay who also scored on that night at Anfield, on the left. David Lee is in the centre of them. The manager of Liverpool that night was Graeme Souness and of Bolton; Bruce Rioch). No doubt had Andy been about today with that track record he would be a shoe in for a Scotland place . . . maybe, if he could fit our system. As it was, despite his goalscoring exploits it would not be until 1994 he would don the dark blue of Scotland again and as a Celtic player once more.
Craig Brown started Andy in September ‘94 for a Euro Championship Qualifier against Finland in Helsinki. Scotland won 2-0 thanks to goals from Aberdeen’s Duncan Shearer and fellow Celt, John Collins. Andy would only play for 65 minutes before being replaced by Eoin Jess.
A month later and Andy was given a twenty minute run out against the Faroe Islands at Hampden, coming on for Aberdeen’s Scott Booth. Scott had scored Scotland’s second goal in the 5-1 rout of the Faroes with the previously mentioned John McGinlay, Billy McKinlay and John Collins with a double supplying the others.
And that was that for Andy but he would leave Celtic by 1996 and then play for a plethora of clubs before ending up as a co-commentator with STV and is regularly heard pontificating on the state of Scotland and its’ clubs on Sky Sports.
Happy Birthday Andy and all the best