In many ways Mick Wash’s career was defined by a glorious moment at its very dawn. Aged 20, he lined up for Blackpool against Sunderland in front of Match of the Day’s cameras at Bloomfield Road in February 1975. With the scores balanced at 2-2, five minutes from the end Walsh made the game’s decisive intervention: taking a high ball down on his chest on the edge of the centre circle, he broke into Sunderland half, and, meandering with the menace of a wildcat, turned his defender on the edge of the penalty area and curled an instantaneous pile driver into the far corner of the Sunderland net. Later that year it would be warded Goal of the Season.
When Walsh arrived at Goodison three years later for a hefty £325,000, the burden of expectation hung heavily over the forward, the latest partner for Bob Latchford. He had averaged nearly a goal every other game for Blackpool and Evertonians expected the sort of form they had glimpsed on Match of the Day. Alas, this proved elusive, as Walsh was struck by erratic form and pure bad luck. The strike that may have changed his fortunes was never forthcoming and the following March Gordon Lee swapped him for Queens Park Rangers’ Peter Eastoe.
Walsh fared little better at Loftus Road, and in 1981 he moved to Porto. In Portugal his career underwent an extraordinary resurgence and he won the Portuguese Cup in 1983, and La Liga two years later, also appearing in the 1984 European Cup Winners Cup Final, which Porto lost to Juventus.