Career: 1953 - 1954
Debut : Round 1, 1953 vs Footscray, aged 24 years, 139 days
Carlton Player No. 665
Games : 12
Goals : 20
Last Game : Round 13, 1954 vs Melbourne, aged 25 years, 228 days
Guernsey No. 12
Height : 183 cm (6 ft.)
Weight : 85.5 kg (13 stone, 7 lbs.)
DOB : 30 November, 1928
On the football field, Tony Walsh appeared to have it all. A rangy, well-built forward with strong hands and a raking right foot, he could be deadly accurate in front of goal, often from long distances. But like so many others, Tony found it impossible to maintain consistency at elite level, and his career at Princes Park lasted just two seasons.
Walsh began his VFL journey at Geelong in 1952. Recruited by the Cats from Geelong West, he played three matches for their senior team, and kicked four goals before he was told that his services were no longer required. The following year he turned up at Carlton, doing enough in a pre-season trial match to be named at full-forward for the opening round match against Footscray at Princes Park.
The Bulldogs won that tight contest by five points. Walsh kicked three, including a graceful long drop-kick from the boundary line that sailed through the big sticks at the Lygon St. end of the ground. A fortnight later, he starred with six goals in a narrow win over Richmond at Punt Rd – then his form deserted him. His next two games produced only three majors, and by the mid-way point of the season his senior team opportunities had dried up.
In 1954, Carlton’s coach Percy Bentley tried Walsh in the centre, and on a half-forward flank, without great success. All up, he played another four matches, but wasn’t comfortable away from the goal square and failed to add to his tally of goals. His last outing in the number 12 guernsey for the Blues came in July of that year, in a 35-point loss to Melbourne at the MCG.
Walsh was cleared to coach Tasmanian club Scottsdale for the 1955 season.
Walsh passed away on the 18th November, 1984 aged 55.