Mike Walker was devastated after his second spell as Norwich
manager came to an end on Thursday 30th April 1998
The former Everton boss has left the struggling First Division
club, which he had previously taken into Europe, by "mutual consent."
Norwich, who were 16th in the table, ended their relegation fears
by recording 5-0 victories in their last two home games, but before
that they had gone 14 games without a win. Walker, though, who
returned to Carrow Road in June 1996 following his first successful
spell at the club, stood by his record. "I am bitterly disappointed
to say the least," he told the Norwich
Evening News. "They have decided to make a decision which
is their prerogative and at the end of the day, that's the way
it is. "I think I have worked hard under trying circumstances
this year, but the decision has been made. "We all know the problems
we have had. This is the way it has ended up. It has ended, but
that is football and that is something you have to accept although
whoever comes in is going to be a reasonably lucky man."
Norwich vice-chairman Roger Munby claimed Walker had gone now
to give the Canaries plenty of time to find a replacement who
could take them back to the Premiership. "We chose this timing,
the earliest possible time, to give ourselves the best possible
chance of setting out with the right recruitment policy," he told
ClubCall. "It is an open process. We have given ourselves the
maximum possible time. "We want to deliver the right football
manager able to deliver our number one objective - the Premiership."
Munby thanked him for what he had done for the Canaries during
his two periods at the helm. During Walker's first stint in charge
at Norwich he took the club to third in the Premier League in
1993, which was their best ever finish. The following season he
led them to victory over Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup before he resigned
in January 1994 to take over at Everton. Munby said "Mike has
been an unstinting worker on behalf of this club," he said. "His
first spell was outstandingly successful and during his second
spell we would pay tribute as he worked unstintingly in trying
to achieve our number one objective of Premiership status."
Assistant manager John Faulkner took charge of team affairs for
their final game against Reading on Sunday which resulted in a
1-0 Norwich victory.
Mike Walker biography
1945: Born Colwyn Bay, November 28.
1959: Joined Reading as junior after showing goalkeeping prowess.
1963: Signed professional forms for Reading, but failed to make
1964: Moved to Shrewsbury, making seven appearances.
1966: Joined York, making 60 appearances and winning four Wales
1968: Transferred to Watford, where he played 137 games and won
third division title medal in 1969.
1973: After a loan spell at Charlton, where he played just once,
joined Colchester. Made 451 appearances, including 310 consecutive
from Feb 1977-Jan 1983, figuring in fourth division promotion
teams of 1973-74 and 1976-77.
1983: Appointed assistant manager at Colchester after retiring
1986: Becomes Colchester manager.
1987: Sacked by Colchester with club top of fourth division. After
dismissal, elected Manager of the Month for October. Appointed
reserve team manager at Norwich.
1992: Appointed Norwich manager.
1993: Guided Norwich to highest-ever placing of third in Premier
League and a place in Europe for the first time.
1993: Steered Norwich to their greatest triumph, a UEFA Cup win
over Bayern Munich in Germany.
1994: Resigned as Norwich boss in January to sign three-and-a-half
year contract with Everton, who only escape relegation by beating
Wimbledon on the final day of the 1993-94 season. After poor start
to 94-95 campaign, sacked in November.
1996: Appointed Norwich boss again in June, two-and-a-half years
after his departure from Carrow Road, following the departure
of Robert Chase and Gary Megson.
1998: His second spell is ended by mutual consent on April 30
with the club safe from relegation in 16th place in Division One,
but in poor form.
In August 1998, he was offered a position with Greek side Ionikos
but rejected it, saying he was patient to wait for the right job
in Britain to come along. He was also inked with the manager's
position at Norwegian side FC Brann of Bergen. Following the resignation
of Steve Wignall at Colchester United in January 1999, Mike was
made the bookie's favourite to replace him as manager at Layer
Road. However a return to the club where he had such early success
did not occur as Scarborough manager Mick
Wadsworth took this post on 28th January 1999. Mike was later
linked with the vacancy at Hartlepool United.
In June 1999, following the resignation of Bobby Gould, Mike was
linked with the vacant Welsh national team managers' position
although he will face competition from Chester's Kevin Ratcliffe,
Wrexham's Bryan Flynn, former England supremo Terry Venables and
Manchester United youth team coach David
Williams. Mike was also linked with the vacant manager's position
at Bristol City but this went to former Gillingham boss Tony Pulis.
In November 1999, TeamTalk
linked Mike with the managerial position at Scottish side Dunfermline
after he attended a match as guest of their board of directors.
Supposedly it was a straight race between him and Terry Fenwick
as to whom gets the job. In December, Mike was linked with the
vacancy at Fratton Park after Gary Megson,
the first choice for the Portsmouth job, rejected it.
Mike was remarkably named by Teamtalk
as a potential successor to Bruce Rioch following his resignation
on 13th March 2000. This was not to be and on 9th November 2000,
Mike returned to management as the new coach of Cypriot side Apoel
Nicosia. Apoel sacked him on September 24th 2001 just two games
into the new Cypriot season.
In March 2004, the South Wales Press suggested that Mike had
put himself forward to replace Bryan Flynn and Kevin
Reeves who had been sacked by Swansea. Andy Melville and Dean
Saunders were also suggested as possible replacements.