Player profile

Paul Walsh

Birthdate: 1 October 1962
Birthplace: Plumstead, London, England
Other clubs: Charlton Athletic (1977-82), Luton Town (1982-84), Tottenham Hotspur (1988-92), Queens Park Rangers (loan 1991), Portsmouth (1992-94), Manchester City (1994-95)), Portsmouth (2 / 1995-97)
Bought from: Luton Town
Signed for LFC: £700,000, 21.05.1984
International debut: 12.06.1983 vs. Australia
International caps: 5/1 - 02.05.1984
Liverpool debut: 18.08.1984
Last appearance: 28.11.1987
Debut goal: 27.08.1984
Last goal: 21.02.1987
Contract expiry: 16.02.1988
Win ratio: 53.57% W: 60 D: 31 L: 21
Games/goals ratio: 3.03
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 15 / 1
LFC league games/goals: 77 / 25
Total LFC games/goals: 112 / 37

Player profile

Walsh made his name 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. Walsh was voted PFA's most promising player of the year in 1983/84 and was at the centre of a bidding war between Manchester United and Liverpool. Walsh opted for a move to Merseyside and with Ian Rush sidelined at the start of the 1984/85 season, he went straight into the first team and scored after just fifteen seconds of his home debut against West Ham. He played in the opening ten League games but was injured in the tenth 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. He did score three times in Liverpool’s successful run in Europe and played in the ill-fated final against Juventus in Brussels. This tricky little forward played alongside Rush with Dalglish behind them. Walsh could be pleased with his first season, hardly expecting to upstage Rush who was pivotal to the club's success as before.

An amazing run of 18 goals in 25 matches in the double 1985/86 season was a testament to Walsh's ability, but then disaster struck when he ruptured his ligaments. One wonders what could have been as this was the most important spell of his Liverpool career. Walsh started his scoring spree in the Screen Sport Super Cup against Southampton, scoring two against his old club, Luton, in the League and a hat-trick against Brighton in the third round of the League Cup on 29 October. He failed to score against Leicester, but managed one against Coventry and then ripped West Brom apart by setting up three and scoring his eighth goal in six games. Tottenham and Aston Villa were added to his victims with Walsh on 11 goals in 11 games. Dalglish was a big fan of his talents. "When we brought the ball in to his feet, Walshy danced around defenders. I was well aware that many centre-halves, particularly the old-school ones, found it tricky dealing with small strikers such as Walshy. He buzzed around as they swatted away at him ineffectually. They also discovered to their surprise, and cost, that Walshy could climb into the air, hang there and head the ball." Liverpool's 14 match unbeaten run fell apart against Arsenal on 14 December 1985. Dalglish chopped and changed the squad while Liverpool struggled, only drawing three of their next four games. Walsh scored two goals in Liverpool's thrashing win over Watford on 12 January and had firmly established himself in the first team when Kevin Moran's tackle on 9 February ruined his season. He returned seven weeks later, obviously being hurried back too soon and his name didn't appear on the teamsheet until in the penultimate game of the season against Norwich in the Screen Sport Super Cup. Meanwhile with Dalglish back in the team Liverpool strung together a remarkable 11 wins and one draw from the final dozen first division fixtures which saw Liverpool climb over neighbours Everton. Liverpool secured the League and Cup double. Walsh watched from the stands while Liverpool beat Everton 3-1 in the FA Cup final.

Walsh returned to the starting line-up on 25 October 1986 and scored a hat-trick against Norwich a week later. He was a regular in the side until 25 April 1987, when he was relegated to the bench and didn't even appear on the teamsheet in the last three games. He had only scored three goals since the Norwich game. The arrival of John Aldridge and Peter Beardsley in 1987 meant that Walsh 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. Walsh made 28 starts for Spurs in the 1988/89 season but was less involved following the arrival of Gary Lineker and became accustomed to the role of a substitute. He won the FA Cup at Spurs in 1991, coming on in the eighty-second minute against Nottingham Forest and playing the whole of extra-time in which Des Walker scored a decisive own-goal. In June 1992 Walsh went the opposite way as well as a tidy sum when Darren Anderton was brought in from Portsmouth. Walsh was popular at first division Pompey and was voted fans' Player of the Year in his debut season. In March 1994 Walsh was on the move again, this time to Manchester City in the Premier League. Again he proved a popular acquisition as his elegance and all-action style delighted the fans. Walsh made a somewhat surprising return to Pompey in September 1995 after featuring in 39 League matches and scoring 12 goals in the previous season. A cruciate ligament injury in 1996 finished his career after only 22 appearances in his second spell at Portsmouth.

Walsh was a seemingly ready-made poster boy when he arrived from Luton to Liverpool with the world at his feet. Injuries undoubtedly curtailed what his talents could have achieved but when Walsh was on song there was not a prettier sight in football.

Appearances per season

SeasonLeagueFALCEuropeOtherTotal
Totals7781278112
1984-1985 26327139
1985-1986 20240632
1986-1987 23350132
1987-1988 801009

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

TotalOpponent
8Luton Town
7Manchester United
6Norwich City
6Sheffield Wednesday
6Tottenham
6QPR
5Arsenal
5Coventry City
5Aston Villa
4Ipswich Town
4Southampton
4Chelsea
4Watford
4West Ham United
4Everton
4Leicester City
3Nottingham Forest
3Newcastle United
2Manchester City
2WBA
2Stockport County
2Juventus
2Lech Poznan
2Austria Vienna
2Oxford United
1York City
1Birmingham City
1Panathinaikos
1Blackburn Rovers
1Oldham Athletic
1Charlton Athletic
1Derby
1Brighton & Hove Albion
1Portsmouth
1Sunderland
Total Started/substitutions
92 Started
18 On the bench
20 Substitute
14 Substituted

Goals per season

SeasonLeagueFALCEuropeOtherTotal
Totals25343237
1984-1985 8203013
1985-1986 11140218
1986-1987 600006
1987-1988 000000

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

TotalStarted/substitutions
34Started
3Substitute
TotalGoal minute period
31-15 minutes
716-30 minutes
831-45 minutes
546-60 minutes
761-75 minutes
676-90 minutes
191-120 minutes
TotalOpen play/Penalty
37Open play
0Penalty

Wartime Appearances / Goals

SeasonAppearancesGoals
No records to display.

Stats note

Milestone Appearances

#DateAgainstStadiumCompetition
118.08.1984EvertonWembleyOther
5009.11.1985Coventry CityHighfield RoadLeague
10005.04.1987ArsenalWembleyLeague Cup

Milestone Goals

#MinuteDateAgainstStadiumCompetition
1127.08.1984West Ham UnitedAnfieldLeague

Related Articles

Paisley's opinion on Paul Walsh

Bob Paisley was a great judge of players and in the 1986/87 season he looked at the players of Liverpool FC and treated us to his point of view on them.More

Liverpool streamroll Albion

Match report from Sunday Mirror on 16.11.1985. More

Walsh puts Liverpool back on course

Match report from 12.01.1986 by the Daily Mail.More

Walsh strikes as Anfield has that familiar air of inevitability

Match report from 27th August 1984 by Stuart Jones of "The Times". More

Focus on Paul Walsh

Paul Anthony Walsh profiled in Shoot! in 1986.More

Related Quotes

"The medical facilities were unbelievable in those days. The treatment room was like a museum. I remember in the 1986 title-winning season I was going along nicely until I picked up an ankle injury against Manchester United. There’s a picture of me on my wall at home of me in the dressing room with Roy Evans dabbing my ankle with a sponge. I’ve ruptured my ligaments and I’ve got Roy giving it a dab and wiggling it about saying ‘It’ll be alright’ I was hobbling around for months.

The funny thing is, eventually this fella comes round to test the ultra-sound machine and it turns out it’s not even working. I’d been having the ultra-sound on my ankle religiously three times a day for three months and it wasn’t even working."

Paul Walsh

"For the first three years, life at Liverpool was brilliant. It didn't worry me that I was in competition for one of the striking places with Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, David Hodgson and Michael Robinson. I was confident in my own ability by this stage and I was absolutely flying. Unfortunately for me, the Heysel Stadium disaster came on the night when I should have been playing in the European Cup Final. Of course, 38 people lost their lives that night, so what happened to me is insignificant, but it should have been one of the highlights of my career.

In the year afterwards, I had scored 18 goals in 24 games when I was injured during a game with Manchester United at Anfield when my ankle became got caught in between Kevin Moran's legs as we challenged for a ball. I was out for seven months and, by the time I was ready again, Kenny Dalglish had bought John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and John Aldridge. I think he wanted his own men in."

Paul Walsh on his Liverpool career

"Kenny had just signed Peter Beardsley and Roy Evans came to me and asked how would I fancy playing right midfield. I said no because I wanted to play up front but looking back in hindsight I should have stayed at Liverpool and taken that on because I could have done a decent job there."

Paul Walsh reveals why he may have left Liverpool rather prematurely in 1987 when he moved to Terry Venables Tottenham. On liverpoolfc.tv in October 2006

The player was in the squad the following season

SeasonShirt #Position
1984-1985 * Striker
1985-1986 * Striker
1986-1987 * Striker
1987-1988 * Striker
* Note, Since the 1993-94 season players have been allocated a fixed number.

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