FAN'S EYE VIEW: No 199 Clive Walker

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Ray Clemence must wince every time he sees Clive Walker's bald head. In 1978, Walker, then 19, was playing for struggling Chelsea. His blond hair flowing, Walker embarassed a dozing Clemence with a 20-yard drive which sent mighty Liverpool - then European and League champions - crashing to a shock FA Cup third-round defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Walker, now 39, is ending his career as he began it, by scoring crucial FA Cup goals, this time for non-League Woking. He hit the winner against Millwall and an opener against Cambridge United. Third-round opponents Coventry City are Walker's next target. But I can vividly remember another day - 14 October 1978 - when Clive Walker caused absolute pandemonium.

Bolton Wanderers, newly promoted to the First Division, were hoping to be the fifth side in a row to thump the Blues at the Bridge. Bolton included a young lad called Peter Reid and two veteran former Manchester United stalwarts: Willie Morgan and Tony Dunne.

Earlier that week, Chelsea had failed to persuade Johan Cruyff to come out of retirement. Ruud Guillit was not the first flying Dutchman Chelsea had set their sights on. Three times during that first half the Chelsea faithful were forced to watch Bob Iles, signed for pounds 10,000 from non-League Weymouth, retrieve the ball from the back of Chelsea's net.

Alan Gowling's 18th and 41st-minute goals arrived like efficient trains on a rush-hour timetable, coming either side of a penalty converted after 35 minutes by Frank Worthington. Referee Eric Read blew for half-time as the bright October sun beamed on our miserable faces in The Shed. Not even the most ardently orthodox fan believed that Chelsea, captained by Ray "Butch" Wilkins, managed by Ken Shellito, and inspired by neither, could silence that Bolton tune.

A few Chelsea fans sneaked home. During the second-half the game and the crowd went to sleep. Bolton were content with 3-0 and Chelsea were intent on damage limitation.

Out of the dug-out clambered Clive Walker to replace the anonymous Garry Stanley. The Shed croaked one verse of: "Clive Walker on the wing".

Walker was soon tormenting Paul Jones, Bolton's right-back. "Jones seemed to stand still," Walker said afterwards, describing his first touch of the ball. Walker cut past Jones and his low centre was stabbed home by Tommy "Lungs" Langley: 1-3. The 75th minute. At last, some consolation.

Langley's rare goal counted purely as consolation until the 82nd minute when Chelsea attacked with rare purpose. The ball sat up for Kenny Swain in the box. Surrounded by Bolton's Mike Walsh, Sam Allardyce, Roy Greaves and keeper Jim McDonagh, Swain slipped on to his backside but somehow managed to scuff the ball into Bolton's net: 2-3. Could Chelsea, now suddenly full of beans, steal an improbable equaliser in the remaining eight minutes?

The Shed was now alive, passionate, in full voice. Jittery Bolton tried possession play, orchestrated by the wily Worthington. It worked - until the 87th minute. A Wanderers attack broke down on the edge of the Chelsea box. Midfielder Ray Lewington hit the best pass of his entire career, a long, high raking effort that fell plum into Walker's flight path on Chelsea's left wing.

Walker left Jones stumbling in his slipstream on the half-way line. Chelsea's new East Stand stood up as one and roared as Walker arrowed straight for Bolton's goal, entering Bolton's area one-on-one with McDonagh. The keeper appeared to sit back slightly as Walker's shot sped past his fingertips.

The back of that deep net billowed. 3-3. Stamford Bridge erupted with unbridled joy. "We've got the bastards on the rack now," erupted a bloke who had stood dormant beside me during the first half. The Bolton fans were in mute shock at the other end.

The last minute and hardly any injury time due. Magnetically, Walker again collected the ball wide on the left. En masse the East Stand rose again. Walker scampered forward and reached the edge of the box at an acute angle. His left peg connected sweetly with the ball, a belter of a low cross-cum-shot. The ball skimmed hard and low over the turf, passing McDonagh. Bolton defender Sam Allardyce, retreating desperately, slid out a leg but only managed to slice Walker's drive into the roof of that Bolton net. From 0-3 to 4-3. Pandemonium at the Bridge as Read blew the final whistle.

I can still hear the noise of that 19,879 crowd whenever I look at the photograph which captures the immediate aftermath of Walker's winner. The shell-shocked McDonagh and the distraught, motionless Allardyce, lying face down, legs wide apart as if he had been shot in the back; the drained, forlorn figure of Walsh and Langley, peeling away in sheer delight, as the ball drops from the roof of the net.

A postscript to my fond memories of that afternoon came three seasons ago, many years after I had divorced Chelsea to shack up with my local non-League hopefuls, Enfield. Woking, the visitors in an FA Trophy semi- final, included a balding, podgy winger by the name of Clive Walker.

Clive looked good, a real old pro. Enfield were dumped and Walker and Woking went on to be winners at Wembley. He never got there with Chelsea, so I was pleased he had a Wembley memory. Walker might now be 39 but, even if Woking are 3-0 down at Coventry, you certainly won't catch me sneaking out before that final whistle blows.

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