“When we found out he was available, we moved quickly to sign him,” said Phil Wallace upon capturing Steve Walters in March 2001. The midfielder, it seems, had been on the radar of Paul Fairclough from early on in the 2000-1 campaign; Walters’ transfer request making it possible to bring him in from Morecambe. At a cost of £17,000, we splashed a bit of cash to land the midfielder. But it’s debatable whether we got our money’s worth.
Walters ended up turning out just 17 times; appearances that straddled both the 2000-1 and 2001-2 campaigns. For the former England youth international, the impact wasn’t a huge one. Indeed, there were few glimpses of the form that made the Shrimps part with £25,000 to sign him from Northwich Victoria in the first place. It’s even reported that he was subject to a £1.5m bid from Liverpool while with Crewe Alexandra before the Vics.
At the time he went on the transfer list in November 2001, Phil Wallace explained why: “[He] was supposed to move down after he signed, but things changed for him personally. Instead, he’s moved to Wrexham, which – if anything – is even further away than before.
“Now his journey is a nightmare and he’s asked to move to a club nearer his home. We’ve accepted his written request for a transfer and will look to get back the £17,000 we paid for him. However, if an offer comes in that close and it suits Steve, we’ll be flexible because his position makes it very hard for him to continue with us.”
A red card against Hereford United in September 2001 was his last contribution for us.