Cray Valley boss Kevin Watson pays tribute to goalkeeper Andy Walker after announcing that his captain has played his last game for the club
CRAY VALLEY (Paper Mills) manager Kevin Watson has announced that goalkeeper Andy Walker, 39, has played his last game for the Isthmian League South East Division club.
After making 139 first-team appearances for the Eltham-based outfit, their club captain will be stepping aside as first-choice goalkeeper at the club in the summer.
The model professional joined the club shortly after Watson’s appointment in 2017, going on to become Watson’s onfield lieutenant as the club won the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division title in 2019, before leading the team out at Wembley in The FA Vase Final shortly afterwards.
However, Chertsey Town claimed the silverware in Dave Anderson’s final game in charge of the Surrey based club, by claiming a 3-1 extra time win.
Walker lead the club to The FA Cup First Round proper in 2020 for the first time in the club’s history.
“At any level, rarely can one player have had such an influence on the successes of a team over a sustained period of time,” Watson said in a statement on the club website.
“Without doubt, Walks has been instrumental in the growth of our football club.
“As well as his unparalleled performances on the pitch, his selfless leadership of others has made humility infectious at Cray Valley.
“During a difficult transitional period nearly four years ago, I felt I needed people to join who I could trust. Walks was the first call I made and subsequently one of the best and most important calls.
“He remains a great personal friend of mine and will forever be a friend of the club.
“Walks will spend some time considering his options moving forward. Of course, we would love for him to stay at the club in some capacity but I could not begrudge him if he makes the decision to continue to play elsewhere.”
The Bexleyheath born goalkeeper started his career at Colchester United in 1998 before leaving to play for St Albans City, Exeter City, Tonbridge Angels, Doncaster Rovers, Wingate & Finchley, Bromley, Maidstone United, Billericay Town, Cray Wanderers, Thurrock, Harlow Town and Thamesmead Town.
Cray Valley’s goalkeeper coach Craig Gibson, who also worked with the goalkeeper during their time together at Thamesmead Town, added: “End of an incredible era. Personally, I have the utmost respect and admiration for this man both on and off the pitch.”
Visit Cray Valley (Paper Mills) website: www.crayvalleypmfc.com