William Walker (Willie Walker) @ PlayUpLiverpool.com

All articles about William Walker on PlayUpLiverpool.com.

About William Walker:

Born: November 13, 1871: in Uphall, in Scotland.
Passed away: January 23, 1907: in Edinburgh, in Scotland.

Position: Outside right.

Cardross Swifts.
Broxburn Athletic.
Leith Athletic: Signed: 1893.
Liverpool: Signed: May 2, 1897;
* registered with the Football League: May 3, 1897;
* eligible for Liverpool in official matches: September 1, 1897.
Leith Athletic: Signed: August 25, 1898.

Edinburgh Evening News: September 22, 1906.
William Walker 1906

Dundee Courier: January 23, 1907.
William Walker

Athletic News: January 28, 1907.

From Mr. Douglas Gorman I have received the following article with permission to publish under Willie’s profile page. All text and images belong to Mr. Gorman. The following article was published in the Broxburn Athletic programme for their match versus Penicuik Athletic on Saturday 16 January 2016.

“Thankfully serious injury on the football pitch is extremely rare. However, one of those sad occurrences happened when Willie Walker, a former Broxburn footballer and a local man, was injured playing for Leith Athletic versus Vale of Leven at Logie Green, Edinburgh on 12 January 1907.  At the end of the match Willie went to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and was detained for a week. He returned to his Broxburn home but his condition deteriorated and he was re-admitted to hospital suffering from peritonitis.  He was operated upon but he sadly passed away on 23 January 1907.

“The Jury at the Fatal Accident Inquiry held at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 20 February 1907 heard that it was a very rough game. Willie Walker was about to shoot at goal when Vale of Leven’s right back John Barr put his foot up to stop the ball and struck Willie in the stomach. Willie went off the field for treatment but returned a few minutes later. The Jury found that John Barr was not culpably responsible for the accident and added a rider to their verdict to the effect that in their opinion the rules against rough play should be strictly enforced. After the verdict the Emergency Committee of the Scottish Football Association met and suspended the referee, Mr McLaughlin of Alloa, for not reporting the incident.

“Willie Walker’s funeral from his Broxburn home at the Holygate Co-operative Building was attended by several hundreds. The mourners included representatives of Leith Athletic, Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian football clubs and 200 members of the local Court of Foresters, the friendly society, of which he was a member. The newspapers reported that one of the many wreaths was from Vale of Leven Football Club and over 100 people travelled by motor buses from Edinburgh and Leith.

“Leith Athletic established the “Willie Walker Fund” to pay for the erection of a 13 foot high granite memorial to mark Willie’s grave at Uphall Cemetery. Contributions to the Fund to meet the estimated £100 cost came from as far as Aberdeen where a benefit match was played at Pittodrie on 6 March 1907 between Aberdeen and Aberdeen University. The gate receipts of £9 5s 0d (£9.25) were shared with the Aberdeen Unemployed Fund.

Willie Walker 1907

The inscription reads:
Erected by Leith F.C. LTD
and subscribed to
by a number of his admirers
memory of
William Walker
Who died 23rd Jany 1907
The result of an accident
Aged 35 years
Also his mother
Ann McAlpine Walker
Who died 8th Novr 1907
Aged 79 years
Loved by all.

“Willie Walker was born on 13 November 1871 in Uphall. He started his football career in Broxburn with local Junior team, Cardross Swifts. He moved on to Broxburn Athletic before turning Senior with Broxburn. At Broxburn he played with George Fleming (later Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool), Tom Chambers (later Heart of Midlothian) and J Bryce (later Southport Central). His first game for Broxburn was in Dundee against Harp. He signed for Leith Athletic on 3 October 1893 and played 230 league games (71 goals) and 34 Scottish Cup ties (0 goals). The only break in his service to Leith Athletic was when he signed for Liverpool on 2 May 1897. He made his Liverpool debut on 4 September 1897 against Stoke City at the Victoria Ground, Stoke and scored a 60th minute debut goal. He played 12 league games (3 goals) in 1897 and made his last appearance on New Year’s Day 1898. During his time at Liverpool the English transfer system was introduced and a price of £100 was put on Willie. However, an administrative error was made in his registration details and he was recorded as “J Walker”. This simple slip of the pen meant that Willie was able to re-join Leith Athletic on 23 August 1898 on a free transfer.
In a very sad and strange coincidence just two years later Jimmy Main, Hibernian’s Scottish internationalist, suffered an almost identical stomach injury in a match at Firhill, Glasgow, and died a few days later.”
(Copyright, Douglas Gorman – email provided).

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