Prior to joining Norwich, Walford's career had been spent in
his native London. He joined Tottenham as an apprentice in 1974,
turning professional a year later. Two appearances for the Hotspurs
and England Youth caps somehow inspired Arsenal manager Terry
Neill to sign him for £25,000 in August 1977. In the next
four years, Walford would make 77 league appearances for the Gunners,
scoring three times and would play in Europe and at Wembley.
Walford joined Norwich in March 1981 alongside Chris Woods and Martin O'Neill as
manager Ken Brown invested money in
an attempt to avoid relegation to Division Two. The investment
failed and City were relegated but Walford's presence in the defence
helped Norwich secure a swift return to the top flight the following
season. He accumulated 108 first team appearances for the Canaries
before leaving in August 1983 to join West Ham United for £160,000.
This figure represented a loss of £15,000 on Walford who
had cost £175,000 two and a half years earlier.
He made 115 league appearances for the Hammers before joining
Huddersfield Town on a two month loan in October 1987. 12 appearances
were made for the Yorkshire side. Another loan spell at Gillingham
(4 matches) preceded a 2 month visit to West Bromwich Albion (four
games). In August 1989, he joined Lai Sun of Hong Kong and played
in Turkey on his way back to England.
He joined Wycombe Wanderers in October 1990 as a favour to manager
Martin O'Neill. After a spell with non-league Wealdstone,
he rejoined Wycombe as Assistant Manager. He moved with Martin
O'Neill back to Carrow Road as Assistant Manager in June 1995
and was joint caretaker manager, along with Paul
Franklin for one match (a Coca Cola Cup Fourth Round replay
victory on penalties at Bolton) after O'Neill's sudden departure
to Leicester City. His partnership with O'Neill was too strong
and he too made the move to Filbert Street. At the end of the
1996/96 season, Leicester won promotion to the Premiership via
the play-offs and the following season they won the Coca Cola
Cup. Steve followed O'Neill to Scottish giants Celtic in the summer
Celtic won the Scottish Premiership for a third time under O'Neill
on April 18th 2004.
Steve left Celtic when Martin O'Neill resigned in May 2005.
Walford followed O'Neill to Villa Park in August 2006 becoming
Villa's first-team coach
He left Villa in the summer of 2010 following O'Neill's resignation
Following O'Neill's appointment as Sunderland's manager in December
2011, Walford teamed with him again being appointed as the Black
Cat's First Team Acoah on 7th December 2011. They left in 2012.
In September 2015, he was linked with a move to join the coaching
team at Neil Lennon's Bolton. This materialised on 18th September but he remained part of the Republic of Ireland coaching team under Martin O'Neill. The Sky Bet Championship club were looking for a new number two to Neil Lennon after Johan Mjallby left for family reasons.
Bolton manager Lennon said:
"He's worked with Martin O'Neill for the last 20-25 years. I had 10 years under him as a player with him, Martin and John Robertson."
"He's currently first-team coach with Republic of Ireland, and he will continue those duties."
"He knows the way I work. He knows my personality and vice versa. He's got a wealth of experience, from League One, League Two, Championship, Premier League, Scotland, Europe, Champions League, international level - he's coached at every spectrum of the game."
"I'm very fortunate that he's agreed to come and really grateful for Martin for giving us this opportunity as well."
"We've kept in touch over the years. I've got a huge respect for him, he had a huge influence on my career, as did Martin. I basically learned the top end of the game from them guys. He's looking forward to the challenge - it's fantastic for us."
Although Lennon was sacked by Bolton on 15th March 2016, Walford stayed on along with Gary Parker until 14th April 2016 so the club could prepare for a new management team (Bolton had been relegated from the Championship on 9th April 2016).