Walker Andy Image 2 Newport County 1921

Walker Andy Image 2 Newport County 1921

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Description

Andrew McQueen Walker was born on 29th May 1891 at Whitehill Cottages, Newbattle, Midlothian.  His family in due course moved to Cowdenbeath and young Andy 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. Andy was a forward and a penalty expert. Off the field he was a bread baker. 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 swiftly had senior scouts watching him with seven goals in four matches. Dundee invited Andy 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 and moved from the family home at 72 Hall Street, Cowdenbeath to lodgings at Sibbald Street, 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 season 1912-13. Half a dozen English clubs were soon keeping tabs on his performances. First Division Chelsea signed him in May 1913. He made an impressive debut and scored at Oldham Athletic in a 3-2 defeat that September. 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 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 Servicemen in attendance. United though beat Chelsea’s 3-0. Andy then joined up and spent most of the next four years in the forces. He did play two matches for Raith Rovers in 1915-16 but looked pretty rusty. Post War, he returned to Stamford Bridge and played three times for Chelsea in 1919-20 before joining Newport County in May 1920 after 2 goals in 23 appearances for The Pensioners. He played 2 seasons for Newport including lining up for their inaugural Football League fixture against Reading in August 1920, and scored 15 goals in 80 appearances for the Somerset Park club over the next 2 seasons. He followed that with a spell at Accrington Stanley making 15 appearances in 1922-23.

He had married Agnes Gourlay from Dunfermline in Fulham in 1921. 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.

In 1930, Andy and Agnes took out American citizenship and they had followed the old adage of ‘Go West’. It was hooray for Hollywood as by then, Andy was working in the movie industry as a studio grip. In the 1930 census, they were at South Ardmore Drive, Los Angeles and then in 1940 at Hauser Street, Los Angeles. Walker died on 27th May 1964 in Los Angeles.

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