Walker Andy Image 1 Newport County 1921

Walker Andy Image 1 Newport County 1921

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Description

Centre forward and later a half back who played all across the line, Andrew McQueen Walker was born at Whitehill Cottages, Newbattle, Midlothian. His family in due course moved to Cowdenbeath and young Walker began playing with Cowdenbeath juvenile side Gordon Athletic. Willie Simpson who was later to found Cowdenbeath Royals in the 1950’s was then the secretary of Gordon Athletic who played at Woodend Park, Cowdenbeath. Walker was a forward and a penalty expert and he scored 13 times from the spot for Gordon Athletic in season 1909-10. For 1910-11, he played junior football with Lumphinnans Swifts and soon thereafter had senior scouts watching him with seven goals in four matches. Scottish League club Dundee invited him to play as a trialist in a reserve match against Falkirk and he weighed in with two goals. On 10th October 1910, he signed for Dundee.

Dundee’s new centre forward didn’t feature too often in the first team during his first two years at Dens Park but he made a breakthrough with 7 goals in 20 appearances in their 1912-13 campaign. Half a dozen English clubs were soon keeping tabs on his performances. First Division club Chelsea signed him in May 1913. His Football League debut came at Oldham Athletic that September, Walker scored in a 3-2 defeat, scoring once more in a win over Sheffield Wednesday on Christmas Day. Most of his appearances for Chelsea came in the following season, as Chelsea fought their way through into the 1915 FA Cup Final.

Walker had now dropped back to the left half position and having played in 3 of the earlier round ties, and in their semi final win over Everton at Villa Park, lined up in the half back trio in the Final against Sheffield United at Old Trafford in April 1915. The Final became known as “The Khaki Cup Final” due to the number of uniformed soldiers in attendance. The Blades however beat Chelsea 3-0. Almost immediately thereafter the onset of the First World War forced the suspension of peacetime football and  Walker then joined up and spent most of the next four years in the Armed Forces. He did play two matches for Raith Rovers in 1915-16.

After the War, he returned to Stamford Bridge and played three times for Chelsea in 1919-20 before joining newly elected Third Divsion club Newport County in May 1920 after 2 goals in 23 appearances for The Pensioners. He played two seasons for Newport including lining up for their inaugural League fixture against Reading in August 1920, and was club captain, scoring 15 goals in 80 appearances for the Somerset Park club. He then joined Accrington Stanley in the 1922 close season, making 15 appearances in 1922-23.

In 1923, he left his wife Agnes at home in Accrington and sailed on the SS Samaria from Liverpool for the USA to play for Fall River Marksmen in the nascent US Soccer Leagues. His footballing in the USA though was limited but his wife joined him as they decided they would emigrate to the USA.

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