Gibraltar midfielder itching to upset Pompey-loving family

Liam Walker, second from right, scores for Gibraltar against the Isle of Wight  Picture: John Shephard
Liam Walker, second from right, scores for Gibraltar against the Isle of Wight Picture: John Shephard

Liam Walker is running the risk of wrath from his family as he prepares to inspire the toppling of Pompey.

The attacking midfielder will line up for Gibraltar at the Victoria Stadium tonight for the opening match of the pre-season tour.

And among the Blues fans urging on Michael Appleton’s side will be the 24-year-old’s nan and uncle.

Although born in Gibraltar himself, Walker’s family hail from Waterlooville and the surrounding area.

Some, including his parents and grandparents, relocated to the British territory.

His uncle, Matthew, is a massive Pompey supporter who travelled from Gibraltar to the 2010 FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Meanwhile, nan Jackie is also a staunch Pompey follower, although his dad is a fan of West Ham.

Walker, who works as a builder and plays in the Spanish third division for part-time outfit San Raque, even visited Fratton Park when he was a child.

And the Gibraltar footballer is relishing the opportunity to impress tonight against the club so many of his family support.

Walker said: ‘A lot of my family over here support Portsmouth – as do many who are still living over there.

‘Not me. I was born in Gibraltar and live in Spain so my team is Barcelona.

‘Our family moved over here when my granddad, who was in the navy, decided to settle over here. That was before I was born, but I consider myself British.

‘I’ve got lots of aunts and uncles back in England, while my uncle Matthew who lives over here is a big Pompey fan, just like my nan.

‘There are going to be plenty of them there tonight at the match hoping that the opposition I am facing win, which doesn’t really happen too often!

‘I have actually been to Fratton Park before but I’ve no idea what the game was.

‘I never really go back to England to see the family that much, either.

‘Although, we recently went to the Isle of Wight for a football tournament, so were around there.

‘There’s quite a bit of excitement among the family over this game. Portsmouth are obviously a well-known club and there are probably going to be plenty of fans there.

‘It’s one I’m looking forward to – as are most of the Walkers.’

Pompey are one of two League One teams who will face Gibraltar this month, the other being Notts County.

Allen Bula’s side have also faced Bury and Rochdale in recent years as they test their mettle against Football League sides in their bid to win international recognition.

Tonight’s clash on the astroturf at the Victoria Stadium (7pm BST) is expected to attract a healthy turn-out, among them plenty of Pompey fans.

And Walker is eager to use to the occasion to help him seal a dream move to England.

He added: ‘I play professional football in the Spanish third division but am always interested in trying to get back to England.

‘I had trials over there for Coventry, Aston Villa, West Ham and Everton when I was a lot younger but my size went against me.

‘Even now, lots of people ask why I am not playing in a standard higher up. I just need a break.

‘We are all looking forward to this match, although everyone has got their own interests.

‘Mine is that I am going to try to have a good game and see if I can catch the eye.’

Gibraltar squad for tonight: Jordan Perez,

Dwayne Robba, Roy Chipolina, Ryan Casciaro,

Joseph Chipolina, Daniel Duarte, Robert Guilling,

Aaron Payas, Liam Walker, George Cabrera, Lee Casciaro. Subs; Joseph Chipol, Ashley Perez, Jack Sergeant, Alain Pons, Kyle Casciaro, Dayle Coeling, Wayne Asquez, Mark Casciaro, Al Greene, Ethan Jolly, Jamie Robba