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Jimmy Walker returns to Walsall

Walsall | Sport | Published:

Walsall legend Jimmy Walker has made a shock return to the Banks's Stadium.

Walsall legend Jimmy Walker has made a shock return to the Banks's Stadium.

The Saddlers have signed the goalkeeper until January 2011 as they bid to solve their defensive crisis.

Walker goes straight into the squad for tomorrow's trip to Huddersfield, subject to Premier League clearance, and is expected to start the game.

The team are joint bottom of League One after winning just once in their last 11 games in all competitions and Walker is up for the fight.

He said: "I'm glad to be back. Everyone knows how much I enjoyed my time here. Walsall are a club close to my heart and it's great to be back.

"Hopefully I can come back and give the place a lift and get the team moving up the table.

"Obviously I know Martin O'Connor and Darren Byfield really well and I can't wait to get going."

The 37-year-old made 475 appearances for the Saddlers during an 11-year spell before leaving for West Ham in 2004.

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Walker made just 20 starts in five years at Upton Park after a cruciate knee ligament injury in the Hammers' 2005 play-off final win over Preston.

Then came a spell at Tottenham as fourth choice in 2009 before his last competitive game, Colchester's 1-1 draw with Hartlepool in February 2009, while on loan at the Us.

Under-pressure boss Chris Hutchings has now moved for the free agent, despite signing goalkeepers Jonny Brain and David Bevan in the summer.

The Saddlers have kept one clean sheet all season, have won just three times all term, and only have 11 points from 13 games.

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But Hutchings insisted Walker has the know-how to help the Saddlers in their hour of need.

The manager said: "Jimmy has the experience that we need at this time.

"He's a strong character and an organiser, the type of person who will get people going. He had ten very successful years at the club and knows what we are all about.

"Since then he has worked alongside some top players and that higher level experience and know-how is sure to serve us well.

"On top of that he is a firm favourite amongst the supporters and will add extra competition for places.

"I am delighted to be able to bring him in and look forward to working alongside him."

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