Walker had guided unfashionable Norwich City to the giddy heights
of 3rd place in the inaugural Premier League season in 1992/93 -
their highest ever League finish.
They qualified for the 1993/94 UEFA Cup and became the first English
team ever to defeat Bayern Munich in the Olympic Stadium, winning
2-1 there as they knocked the Germans out before losing to eventual
winners Inter Milan in the last 16.
Everton meanwhile were in turmoil. Howard Kendall had resigned from
his second spell as manager in December 1993 after a poor run culminating
in the club's lowest League crowd for nearly a decade against Southampton.
Caretaker Jimmy Gabriel had presided over 1 draw and 6 defeats,
with just 2 goals scored in those 7 games, and the club had slumped
to 16th place.
It was natural then for Everton to cast their glances towards Walker,
particularly as it had become apparent that he had an uneasy relationship
with Norwich chairman Robert Chase. To cut a long story short, Walker
resigned from his job at Norwich in January 1994 and signed a three
and a half year contract at Goodison.
Everton fans were delighted. It wasn't a feeling that lasted.
Walker was silver haired and
permanently tanned and relished the limelight provided by his exploits
at Norwich - but he was out of his depth at Everton and lasted just
It was a disastrous
spell - statistically speaking he's by far the worst manager we've
ever had, winning just 6 and losing 18 of his 35 games in charge,
almost taking us down in his first (half) season and treating
us to the worst start in our history in his second.
1993/94 ended with relegation averted by virtue of the 'great
escape' against Wimbledon. 1994/95 began with just 1 win in the
opening 16 games in all competitions and in November 1994, with
Everton bottom of the League, Walker was sacked.
Central to his problems were the fact that he was too stubborn
to move away from his attacking principles when things weren't
going well. He preferred the Vinnie Samways of this world to the
That and his inability to deal with the big personalities at the
club. He'd lost the dressing room long before the axe fell and
was looked on as a figure of fun by the players, with rows common
between him and the senior pros.
Mark Ward described him as "a phoney" and Neville Southall
was bitterly critical of his fellow Welshman and former goalkeeper,
calling him "clueless".
His Everton experience was the end of Walker's spell as a top-rank
manager. He was out of work for 2 years before returning to Norwich
in 1996 for 2 uneventful seasons outside of the Premier League
and then a short disastrous spell in Cyprus with Apoel.