ANDY Walker will be around 300 miles away in Glasgow when Sheffield United and Arsenal go head to head at Bramall Lane on Tuesday night with a place in the last eight of the FA Cup at stake.

But with the winners set to face Wanderers in the sixth round at the Reebok, the former Scotland striker will be keeping a close eye on the outcome of what promises to be a high-octane showdown.

Victory for the Yorkshiremen would see two of Walker's former clubs meeting at the Reebok Stadium looking to reach the last four.

On the other hand, an Arsenal triumph would give Walker a chance to re-live the memory of the most important goal of a career that featured over 150 goals in more than 400 games for Motherwell, Celtic, Bolton, the Blades and Ayr United.

The date? February 9, 1994. The venue? Highbury. The occasion? An FA Cup fourth-round replay. The result? A 3-1 extra-time victory for Bolton. The scorer of the decisive third goal? Walker himself.

Yet those stark statistics cannot begin to tell the story of an emotional night for Walker, whose Bolton career had been blighted by a serious knee injury almost a year earlier.

"There had been whispers that my career might be over but I never saw it that way at all," says Walker, 39, now a sports columnist on the Sunday Mail in Glasgow.

"Bolton had been promoted from the old Second Division the previous season but I'd missed the last six games because of the injury.

"I was finally fit enough to be named as one of the subs for the game at Highbury the following February and I was sent on for the last 10 minutes or so. It was a big moment.

"I might easily have scored with the last kick of normal time but instead I almost hit the corner flag, which proved I was a bit rusty.

"Then late into extra-time, I got another chance and this time I didn't miss. It's a night I'll never forget. I suspect Arsenal will probably win the replay and if so, the memories will certainly come flooding back.

"I had four wonderful years at Bolton and during my time there we won promotion and beat Liverpool, Everton and Villa in Cup matches. That night at Highbury was probably the highlight of my career."

Walker, who scored 55 goals in 78 games for Bolton and was capped three times by Scotland, rejoined Celtic in 1994 and apart from a couple of years with Sheffield United, played the rest of his football north of the border.

His career swerve into the media came five years ago.

"I'd taken all my coaching badges and fully expected to move on to that side when I finished playing," says Walker, who also works as a radio and television pundit.

"But somehow I couldn't get my foot in the door. I was in my early 30s, I had a wife and four kids to support and I had to make a living. Then I got a call from the Sunday Herald.

"They were looking for a player who would write a weekly column, which had to be his own work and not just a chat over the phone to a journalist in the office. I decided to give it a bash.

"Obviously I needed some help from the professionals at first but I adapted quickly and enjoyed it a lot.

"So I pursued other forms of media work, which led to jobs in radio and television and eventually a move to the Sunday Mail."

Inevitably his decision to cross the great divide from player to pundit set him on a collision course with his former profession, a confrontation he doesn't shirk.

"If I'm on the radio or television, I'm obliged to make an honest assessment and if I'm talking about former team-mates and particularly former clubs, it can be difficult.

"But I just call it as I see it and if I upset people, so be it. That is the nature of the job."