Cheltenham Town: Blue is still the colour for evergreen wing ace Walker
CLIVE Walker is still working full-time for the club at which he enjoyed the best years of his long career.
The wing wizard now works full-time for Chelsea TV, a subscription channel dedicated to the current European Champions and FA Cup holders.
Now 55, Walker is an expert pundit, sharing his thoughts on events at Stamford Bridge, where he was a popular player between 1976 and 1984.
Having started his playing days in West London, Walker finally hung up his boots at the age of 42 after 18 months at Cheltenham Town.
Bring a friend to Yoga with Evelyn at 8pm on Wednesdays, and get...View details
Bring a friend to Evelyn’s “Yoga” class on Wednesdays at 8-9pm, and get your class half for only £3. Offer open to non-members. Contact Natasha on 07958 520042 for details.
Terms: Class running at Fitness4Less, Grosvenor terrace. Non-members welcome.
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
He was part of the Robins team that won the FA Trophy, beating Southport 1-0 at Wembley in 1998 before finishing top of the non-League pile a year later to clinch promotion to the Football League.
During his time at Whaddon Road, Walker became the first player to score 100 goals in both League and non-League football and, fittingly, he signed off with a goal in Cheltenham's last match as a part-time club: a 3-0 Gloucestershire Senior Cup win at Gloucester City.
He then called time on his 23-year career and he admitted he was unsure what to do next.
"We won the Conference and I retired at 42 years old and I was a bit of a loss to be honest," Walker said.
"I didn't do a lot to start with and flitted about a bit, running soccer schools and that sort of thing.
"But I then started doing commentary for BBC Radio London and enjoyed that, so I decided to continue down the media route. I now cover all of Chelsea's games for the TV station and also appear on shows during the week.
"It's fantastic to still be involved and I am very fortunate and grateful to have had two careers in football."
Before Steve Cotterill brought him to Cheltenham in November 1997, Walker had spent a brief time as assistant manager at Brentford.
Although his coaching career was fleeting, he thoroughly enjoyed it and continued to apply for jobs after leaving Cheltenham.
"I didn't know which direction my career was going to go at that time," Walker said.
"I enjoyed my time at Brentford but then I put my boots back on for Cheltenham.
"I knew that wasn't going to be forever and I applied for jobs to stay involved, but the media work started and I ended up in that role."
Still as fit as a fiddle at 42, Walker went on to play for the Chelsea Masters team for eight years. He still appears for Chelsea Veterans.
Walker puts the freakish longevity of career down to luck with injuries and a genuine love for the game.
"I had the odd injury, but nothing serious that slowed me down," he said.
"I always had a passion for football and a drive and desire to keep going.
"After leaving the professional game I had four great years at Woking and my 18 months at Cheltenham was fabulous too.
"We had a smashing team under Steve Cotterill and times like that when we won the Trophy and the Conference are why you play football."
Of his time with the Robins, two matches stand out.
"It was lovely to play at Wembley for Cheltenham after going there with Woking three times and I'll never forget the celebrations afterwards," he said. "But I also remember going on as a substitute at home to Tiverton in one of my first games.
"I hadn't played since the May and it was November, so I was trying to get myself fit at 40 years of age and it was a massive moment for me.
"I went on and managed to get the goal that took us through to the second round."
Cheltenham went on to beat Boreham Wood to set up a third round tie against Reading, who they took to a replay.
Walker scored to make it 1-1 after Trevor Morley had given Reading the lead, but Martyn Booty's late goal took the Division One (now Championship) club through.