Steve Walford – played for both Tottenham and Arsenal, but where are you now?

Stephen James “Steve” Walford is one of that handful of players who turned out for both Arsenal and Tottenham.  

He was born 5 January 1958 in Highgate and started out with Tottenham in 1974 but he only played twice for them before Terry Neill, who of course himself at been at Tottenham, signed him for £25,000 on 1 August 1977.

His first game for Arsenal was on 24 September 1978 when he came on as a sub for Matthews, inh a 0-1 away defeat to Norwich.  Although he only got a couple of starts that season in 1978/9 he made 26 starts and seven appearances from the bench, playing left back, right back, in midfield, and even once on the wing.

He played primarily as a centre half, and managed 77 games for Arsenal, including playing as a sub in the 1979 FA Cup Final in which we beat Man U with the famous Alan Sunderland goal.

In 1979/80 however he slipped down the order making on 16 starts in the league and only 3 in the FA Cup, where Arsenal reached the final again.

On 28 February 1981 he made his last appearance for Arsenal in a 2-2 home draw with Middlesbrough, before being transferred to Norwich for £175,000, playing through their relegation from the 1st division, and promotion back.

After Norwich he went to West Ham in 1983 and ended his time there with a series of loan spells, before finally playing for Wycombe where he met Martin O’Neill.  After one final period playing (with Wealdstone) Steve Walford returned to O’Neill at Wycombe and became an assistant to him.

This partnership took him back to Norwich City, and then to Leicester, Celtic, Aston Villa and Sunderland.

However on 5 November 2013 O’Neill became manager of Ireland, and appointed Roy Keene as his assistant.  I have searched through the records – including the rather sketchy details provided by FAI by can’t see Steve Walford’s name therein.  If he is there, or if he has moved elsewhere perhaps you could let me know.

There is a suggestion on one site that he is indeed working under O’Neill yet again, but I would like that confirmed.

Here is the playing record.

 Seasons  Club League Games Goals
1975-1977 Tottenham Hotspur 2 0
1977-1980 Arsenal 77 3
1980-1983 Norwich City 93 2
1983-1989 West Ham United 115 2
1987 Huddersfield Town (loan) 12 0
1988 Gillingham (loan) 4 0
1989 West Bromwich Albion (loan) 4 0

And his details as a coach

1990–1995 Wycombe Wanderers(Head Coach)
1995 Norwich City(Head Coach)
1995–2000 Leicester City(Head Coach)
2000–2005 Celtic(Head Coach)
2006–2010 Aston Villa(Head Coach)
2011–2013 Sunderland(Assistant Manager)
2013- Republic of Ireland(Coach) ???

Having a Cup Winners’ medal with Arsenal he has also won the League Cup twice as a coach with Leicester (1997 and 2000), the Premier League in Scotland with Celtic (three times), 2001, 2002, 2004, the Scottish Cup three times (2001, 2004, 2005) and the Scottish League Cup (2001).


The books
The complete Arsenal Anniversary series is to be found on the Arsenal History Society site.




12 Replies to “Steve Walford – played for both Tottenham and Arsenal, but where are you now?”

  1. When I met him last year he was “resting”. I believe this is still the case.

  2. Probably the least successful of our imports from Spurs. Best of luck to him whatever he’s doing now.

  3. I can’t find any mention of him actually working for the Republic at, or There are a couple of websites which purport to have full data on games played by the Republic, but the only member of management mentioned is O’Neill. But, there are a steady stream of articles at the Independent, which mention that Steve Walford (and Steve Guppy) is working for the Republic under O’Neill. The latest one is July 15, 2014. A slightly earlier report, mentions some kind of deadline involving Roy Keane and the end of July.

  4. I read recently that he had joined his old friend Martin O’Neil as part of the Eire coaching staff. Having played with Chippy Brady, Frank Stapleton, John Devine and David O’Leary all those years ago he should be able to understand the accents!

  5. “Least successful”, oldgroover ?
    Well, yes – but it’s Young and Jennings with whom you compare him.

    At £25,000 Steve Walford was an inspired steal. A regular deputy at centre-back, he also had the pace at left-back to briefly keep out Sammy Nelson. And his performances earned Arsenal a nice profit when he left.

  6. And I should say – as always, many thanks to everyone who takes the trouble to write in. I do appreciate it.

    The new book “Arsenal: the chronology” is really taking shape now, based as it is on the anniversary files – but with commentary. Just thought you might like to know.

  7. I can confirm my dad is working for both Ireland and Bolton. But still talks about his glory days about the club he supports and who I support.

  8. Willie Young successful,agreed he was worth watching if only for the comedy he performned some wonderful 3 point turns when he played for the Arsenal best thing you can say for him was he did turn up.

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