Friday, February 23, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 71: Paul Walsh

Dribbling his way into our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown at number 71 is skilful striker of the mid-eighties Paul Walsh.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Paul Walsh

Years at Liverpool: 1984 to 1988

Date-of-birth: 1/10/1962
Birthplace: Plumstead

Signed from: Luton Town (May 1984)

Games: 112
Goals: 37

Honours: First Division Championship (1985/86)

Despite never really fulfilling the vast potential he arrived with, Paul Walsh was a big favourite among Liverpool supporters during the four years he spent at Anfield. It was in May 1984 that Walsh, then of Luton, was voted PFA Young Player of the Year and rated as one of the hottest striking prospects in the country. A host of top clubs courted his signature but armed with a cheque for £700,000 Joe Fagan swooped first. With a style of play reminiscent of Kenny Dalglish, the signing of Walsh was greeted with excitement in the red half of Merseyside and the England international did not take long to make an impression, netting after just 14-seconds of his home debut in a 3-0 win over West Ham. His close control and silky skills in front of goal were a joy to watch and the likeable Cockney, with his flowing blonde mullet, quickly endeared himself to the fans. A last-ditch equaliser in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United at Goodison raised his profile further and he started the 1985/86 season in blistering form. Unfortunately, an injury sustained against the same opponents in February 1986 was to cruelly curtail his season and signal the start of an injury-plagued spell that was to blight his time at Anfield. After watching from the sidelines as Liverpool completed the League and FA Cup double, Walsh bounced back the following season with a memorable hat-trick at home to Norwich and in response to press speculation that he might be sold, the Kop rallied around him with incessant chants of 'There's Only One Paul Walsh'. His outstanding form during this time looked to have secured his future at the club but with John Aldridge and Peter Beardsley soon added to the Anfield attacking ranks the writing was on the wall for the waspish Walsh and in February 1988 he eventually conceded defeat, returning to his native London in a £500,000 deal that took him to Tottenham. His loyal fans may have mourned his departure but the fond memories will always remain.

Sold to: Tottenham Hotspur (February 1988)

Claim to fame: Scoring one of Anfield's quickest-ever goals

Did you know? He played in two major Cup Finals for Liverpool but was on the losing side in both (1985 European Cup and 1987 Littlewoods Cup)

Where is he now? Living on the south coast, working in property and as a media pundit

Rob McCaffrey on Paul Walsh: "When Paul Walsh signed for Liverpool I thought he was the nearest thing I'd seen to Kenny Dalglish, in terms of the physique and the way he played with his back to goal and the skill."

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