Whatever happened to Steve Walford?

Steve Walford is one of that handful of players who turned out for both Arsenal and Tottenham starting 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.

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.

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.

Having a Cup Winners’ medal with Arsenal as a player, as a coach 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).

On 5 November 2013 O’Neill became manager of the Republic of Ireland national football team and so Walford joined up with his coaching staff.  In 2015 he was made Assistant Manager to Neil Lennon but left on 14 April 2016  following the club’s relegation from the Championship.

Here are the anniversaries…

15 April 1894: Patrick O’Brien, having travelled from Glasgow, signed for Woolwich Arsenal.   He made his debut on 10 September 1894 in the second match of the second league season playing inside left – it was a 1-3 home defeat to Grimsby.

15 April 1899: Jack Robson born.  At 5 feet 8 inches he was Arsenal’s smallest ever keeper, and was signed by Arsenal from Innerleithen in 1921 to be third-choice keeper, for reputedly just £5.  But he was a success, for in 1923/4 he was an ever-present for the club.

15 April 1905: Last game for Thomas Briercliffe.  He had been a vital part of the promotion winning team, but after 28 games in his fourth season he was sold on to Plymouth in the Southern League.

15 April 1910:  George Leavey the Arsenal chairman went to see Archibald Leitch, the architect who oversaw the development of the Manor Ground around the turn of the century.  It is most likely that the reason for the visit was that Leitch had not been paid for that work. (He was eventually paid however, by Henry Norris, who was under no legal obligation to pay him.)

15 April 1911: Leslie Calder played his one and only game for Arsenal at centre forward away to Middlesbrough.  There are few details of the player and in the days when Arsenal.com had a listing of supposedly all Arsenal players, he was not included.

15 April 1912:  George Leavey resigned from the board of Woolwich Arsenal after 14 years with the club. He ran a chain of gentleman’s outfitters across London and the south east and he was a major force in Arsenal’s survival until the arrival of Henry Norris.

15 April 1916: Despite Arsenal having moved north and despite this being the wartime league over 9000 still turned up at Highbury for Arsenal v Millwall.

15 April 1921: With national mining strikes called it was anticipated that trains would not run.  The northern clubs which dominated the League pushed through a regulation saying that matches could not be postponed because of travel difficulties, leaving the London clubs with major problems.  Arsenal set off for Burnley by horse-drawn coach a day early. And the roads in 1921 were certainly not good.

15 April 1934: David Herd born. He was one of the players along with Jimmy Bloomfield, Jo Haverty, and Danny Clapton who came in to rebuild the side after the championship team of 1953 slipped badly in 1954.

15 April 1938: Top of the league Arsenal were on a roll and Drake and Bastin were back in the team for the “home banker” with Brentford.  But Arsenal were beaten at home for only the second time in the season, 0-2. Wolverhampton in 3rd beat Leicester 10-1 at the same time.

15 April 1939: Arsenal beat a Man U team who were currently 19th in the league and had gone nine without a win, 2-1.  Crayston and Drake scored.

15 April 1950: Arsenal 4 Newcastle 2.  103rd and last League game for Archie Macaulay.  He later became a successful manager at Norwich (replacing Tom Parker) taking them to a promotion and an FA Cup semi-final.

15 April 1953: Arsenal 4 Bolton 1, as Arsenal headed for the title.  Bill Dodgin’s first game for Arsenal. Bill had been signed by his father both at Southampton and Fulham and joined Arsenal in  December 1952.

15 April 1970: Arsenal lost to Ajax 0-1 in the second leg of the Fairs Cup semi-final but having won the first match at Highbury 3-0 reached their first Euro final.  In the other semi-final Anderlecht beat Internazionale 2-1 on aggregate having lost 0-1 at home in the first leg.

15 April 1972: Arsenal drew 1-1 with Stoke in the FA Cup Semi-Final with Radford taking over in goal replacing the injured Bob Wilson.  Armstrong scored the goal.

15 April 1978: Arsenal were 5th in the league but with no chance of catching Nottingham Forest at the top.  Thus only 33,353 turned up for Arsenal 2 Newcastle United 1. Steve Walford played his first game

15 April 2006: The match nominated as “Bergkamp Day”.  Bergkamp himself was a sub. The score was Arsenal 3 WBA 1.  Hleb got the first, Bergkamp set up Pirès for the second and the third was scored by… Dennis Bergkamp on 89 minutes

15 April 2019: Arsenal beat Watford 1-0 away as a result of a mistake by the Watford keeper with Aubameyang scoring.  A minute later, Troy Deeney was sent off for elbowing Lucas Torreira.

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