“We were chasing the game at the time and that goal was the winner, which I think is what made it more important”.
It was a cold Saturday afternoon at Bloomfield Road on 1 February 1975, as The Seasiders entertained Sunderland in the Second Division, with both sides battling it out to remain at the top end of the table.
Despite the brisk temperatures, the atmosphere in and around the ground was red hot, largely down to the Black Cats’ manager Bob Stokoe, who spent two years at the helm of the seaside club before moving to the North East.
After taking a 2-0 lead, Sunderland fought back to level the scores, but the game will be remembered for what followed next.
The visitors looked to create another chance, with the ball headed away from danger to Paul Hart, who played a raking through ball up to Mickey Walsh as Blackpool launched a counter.
The Ireland international then took on two defenders, turned and struck a powerful left footed strike to find the back of the net, and it was that goal which earned him Match Of The Day’s Goal of the Season for 1975.
“I was very fortunate that the cameras were there, as in those days the cameras didn’t go to all the games,” Walsh reflected. “They went to one or two but to go to the Second Division at the time was unusual.
“It was great for me though as at the time I didn’t realise how important it was going to be, and now anyone who knows my name associates me with that goal, which wouldn’t have been the case if the cameras hadn’t been there - it’s stuck with me throughout my career and beyond.”
One of the great things about those moments in football is that there usually isn’t any planning, and it is very much a decision made in the heat of the moment, and Walsh’s strike was no different.
“I’ve scored some decent goals, and I was a pretty positive player at the time so I just thought I’d go for it while we were on the counter attack.
“I remember on commentary Barry Davies said Alan Ainscow was coming up on the other side but I just thought I’d take the defenders on and try my luck, and fortunately enough I struck it well and it went in.”
Ever since that goal, Walsh’s popularity has soared and he has always been fondly remembered by the Blackpool faithful for such a well-crafted goal, something which he is immensely proud of.
“It’s great that it’s on YouTube and still being shown today – you wouldn’t have thought at the time that something like that would happen, and it means now my children and my grandchildren can see it as they're growing up, which is lovely.”
Another man who got his name on the scoresheet in that game was Terry Alcock, who broke the deadlock for the hosts, heading in from a Bill Bentley corner and being assisted by Walsh.
“I scored the best goal in the match, that first one!” he joked looking back on the game. “Another thing I remember about that game is they got a penalty, which was a bit dubious – I think Bill Bentley was involved in it.
“Then when it got to 2-2, Paul Hart played the ball up and there was only Mickey up there; he must have run at least 20 yards and then cut inside and hit it with his left foot – from the time he hit the ball it was in.”
Alcock and Walsh got on immensely well during their time at Bloomfield Road, and remain good friends to this day. Looking back on his playing days overall, Alcock is very proud to call himself a team-mate of Walsh, and still has high praise for him.
“The thing about Mickey was, besides being a good player, he was a lovely person, and that’s why we got on so well.
“He came from non-league and he was a great listener, and that’s why he deserves what he’s got. I think that goal is still up there with some of the best, given the intensity of the game with the Stokoe connection.
“We were a close team at the time so we were delighted that we managed to get the win, and we were all delighted with Mickey for scoring.”