Made in Motherwell: Andy Walker
From the juniors to journalism, Andy Walker has been a familiar figure on and off the park in Scottish football over the last four decades.
Tommy McLean made Andy one of his first signings upon taking charge at Motherwell in the summer of 1984, bringing him to Fir Park from Baillieston juniors.
Blooded by McLean in the league around six months after his arrival, the striker came to prominence at exactly the right time, scoring three goals in the final weeks of the season as Motherwell closed in on the First Division title.
Indeed it was Walker who grabbed the goal that secured promotion for Motherwell in the dying minutes of the penultimate match of the season against Brechin City in May 1985.
Gradually making one of the striking berths his own, Walker proved himself a player for the big occasion netting the winner against Rangers in February 1986 and scoring against Celtic in the League Cup Semi Final at Hampden later in the year.
It was the latter who would tempt Walker away from Fir Park in 1987 for a reported fee of £350,000. As so often happens after a move to one of the Old Firm, Andy found himself viewed in a different light and within a year he would earn the first of what would eventually be three international caps for Scotland. It wasn’t without reason though, after he enjoyed a scintillating first season at Parkhead as Celtic won a league and cup double.
After five seasons with Celtic, Walker moved south to Bolton where he was particularly prolific and scored in a number of high profile matches for the Trotters.
Seeking a return to Scotland in 1994 – had Tommy McLean had his way Walker would have served under him once more, but the emergence of Celtic in the bidding war put paid to any realistic hopes McLean had of luring him back to Lanarkshire and he signed for Celtic for a second time.
Thereafter, Andy had spells with Sheffield Utd, Hibernian, Raith Rovers, Ayr Utd, Carlisle, Partick Thistle and Alloa before calling it a day after more than 400 league appearances.
Walker would soon become involved in the media side of the game writing columns for newspapers and appearing as a summariser on television. These days he features regularly on Sky Sports covering both games in Scotland and England.