Phill Walker signed full-time in December 1977, having completed his apprenticeship as a plumber. He came to The Spireites from the same Mansfield-based youth club that produced Steve Ogrizovic. A good, skilful player, he held the ball up well and had a productive all-round game, but he never quite fulfilled the expectations of management and supporters. Exasperated fans would say that he was born offside!
Phill joined Rotherham United in December 1982 in a deal that brought Mick Gooding to Saltergate. It was an odd move, especially since it was rumoured that neither player particularly fancied his new club! Three goals came from 20 Millers appearances before he was farmed out on loan to Cardiff and released in the summer of 1984.
Chesterfield invited him back and he became a key member of the '84-5 Fourth Division championship team, where his particular strengths suited John Duncan's strategy of playing him in away games and Ernie Moss in home matches. Towards the end of his time at Saltergate he took over the Chesterfield Arms, on Newbold Road, while helping Scarborough out of the Conference and into the Football League. The usual ex-Spireite tour of local-non-league sides followed. Phill now runs soccer schools at the Center Parcs complexes in Nottinghamshire and Suffolk and has worked on the youth coaching staff at Chesterfield.
Phil’s son Jamie had some pedigree as a local non-league player before being diagnosed with lymphoma. Subsequently, Phill has thrown his support behind the Jamie Walker charity matches set up by his son. Recent games have been played at Chesterfield’s stadium and have raised a six-figure sum for good causes associated with the club and the fight against the disease.
For Chesterfield: 187+23 League appearances, 47 goals.