Coatbridge, Lanarkshire born inside forward Johnny Walker began his football career with Scottish League Armadale in 1891 and joined Heart of Midlothian in February 1893, making his Hearts debut at St Mirren the same month. He proved a tremendous success at Hearts, winning the Scottish League with them in 1895 and 1897 and the Scottish Cup in 1896 which he lifted as captain as they beat Hibernian 3-1 in the Final at New Logie Green, Edinburgh (the home of St Bernard’s), the only time the Final has been held outside of Glasgow. He had also made his Scotland debut against Ireland at Parkhead on 30th March 1895, scoring twice in a 3-1 win, the first of five caps he won through to 1904, when, as a Rangers player, he was recalled for the internationals against Wales and Ireland that March after a 6 year absence. He also scored against Wales in a 2-2 draw at The Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, in March 1897. He made two appearances for The Scottish League, both against The Football League, in 1896 and 1897, and was similarly recalled in March 1903 while at Rangers, winning 3 further Scottish League caps through to April 1904.
He joined Liverpool at the end of March 1898 after 38 goals in 97 appearances for The Jambos, and made his Football League debut against Sheffield Wednesday in a 4-0 win on 11th April. Walker only missed 2 games during his first full season as Liverpool finished as runners up in the League Championship, and he was part of their team that lost the 1899 FA Cup semi final in a second replay to eventual winners Sheffield United at The Baseball Ground, Derby. He scored 10 goals in 1899-1900 and was a key player for The Reds who now relied on the goalscoring talents of centre forward, Sam Raybould. He scored 7 goals as Liverpool won the League Championship for the first time in 1900-01. Liverpool’s last game of the season was against relegation-doomed West Bromwich Albion and their first League title was a realistic possibility. Liverpool had only been in first place on the opening day of the campaign but now a draw sufficed for The Reds to topple Sunderland who were equal on points with superior goal average, but had already played all their games. Walker was the hero of the day scoring the deciding goal in the first half as the Daily Express reported: “Robertson only just missed scoring for Liverpool and at the other end Garfield was charged off the ball just when about to shoot at an almost open goal. At last, however, Liverpool got away and Walker scored.” Walker played one more season for Liverpool before returning to his native Scotland to play for Rangers after 29 goals in 120 appearances.
At Rangers he was a part of their 1903 Scottish Cup winning team when they defeated Hearts 2-0 at Celtic Park, and he played for three seasons at Ibrox, scoring 33 goals in 76 appearances before joining Greenock Morton in 1905, where he subsequently finished his career.