Steve Walsh (footballer)
|Full name||Steven Walsh|
|Date of birth||3 November 1964|
|Place of birth||Preston, Lancashire, England|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Steven Walsh (born 3 November 1964) is a former professional footballer, who spent most of his career at Leicester City. He also played for Wigan, Norwich, Tamworth and Coventry City. He was normally a defender but at times was used as a striker. He is the record holder for the most red cards in the Football League, with 13, a record he holds jointly with Roy McDonough.
Early life and career
Born in Preston, Lancashire, Walsh won the 1984–85 Freight Rover Trophy with Wigan before following Bryan Hamilton to Leicester for £100,000, where he soon established himself as a no-nonsense central defender. In 1986, he received an eleven match ban after smashing the jaw of striker David Geddis, whilst playing for Leicester against Shrewsbury, part of his often violent reputation which included a longstanding rivalry with Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Steve Bull, which led to both being sent off in separate matches.
Brian Little made Walsh Leicester's club captain in 1992 and started playing him as a striker. He went on to score 15 goals that season including one in the Division 1 play-off final against Swindon Town at the end of the season. In 1993–94 he scored twice as Leicester won the final and promotion to the Premier League over Derby County, having missed much of that season due to a cruciate knee ligament injury.
Injury kept him out for most of the top flight season, but was returned to the captaincy by Martin O'Neill for the 1995–96 play-off final victory over Crystal Palace, a position he retained for the successful 1996–97 season, lifting the Coca-Cola Cup at Hillsborough having set up Emile Heskey's goal in the first game and Steve Claridge's winner in the replay. This was his testimonial season, with the likes of Paul Gascoigne and David Seaman playing in his benefit game. He was also captain when City lost the League Cup final to Tottenham Hotspur in 1999. His last ever European appearance was a 2–1 UEFA Cup defeat to Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderón stadium in 1997. Walsh is a hugely popular figure with Leicester fans, who nicknamed him "Captain Fantastic". Despite being left out of Leicester's squad for the 2000 Football League Cup Final he made three appearances and scored one goal during their victorious League Cup campaign.
Peter Taylor let Walsh leave Leicester in 2000, ending his spell at Filbert Street after 14 years, and after unsuccessful spells at Norwich and Coventry he coached junior football schools and ran a golf course in Spain. Still a cult favourite at the club, he currently writes a weekly column for the Leicester Mercury and has formed an events company with England Rugby player Neil Back and another business partner. Walsh made an unsuccessful attempt to become the new manager of Leicester City when Gary Megson vacated the position in October 2007.
- Leicester City
- Alan Hardaker Trophy: 1997
- "Steve Walsh". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
- "Away penalties at Old Trafford", Sean Ingle, Barry Glendenning and Matt Cunningham, The Guardian, 26 June 2003
- "Five red cards in football match", ITV, accessed 11 March 2013
- "Steve Walsh's classic match: European agony for Leicester City". Leicester Mercury. 4 July 2009. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- "Games played by Steve Walsh in 1999/2000". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
- "Walsh wants Foxes job". Sky Sports. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2007.His autobiography '50 Shades of Blue' was released in November 2014.