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Friday, July 27, 2007

Confirmed: Charlton's Simon Walton Signs for QPR

QPR are delighted to announce the £200,000 signing of Charlton Athletic ace Simon Walton.
The 19-year-old midfielder has penned a three-year deal at Loftus Road and, in doing so, becomes John Gregory's seventh arrival of the summer, following in the footsteps of Chris Barker, Danny Nardiello, John Curtis, Michael Mancienne, Ben Sahar and Lee Camp.
"I'm glad it is all sorted out,'' Walton told www.qpr.co.uk. "I've already played five full games during pre-season with Charlton, so I feel fresh and I'm raring to go.
"I like to put my foot in as a player, and give my all for the team. I'd run through a brick wall if asked to.
"I might not play well every week, but I will always give 100 per cent. That's probably one of the main pluses of my game.
"Now I can't wait for the first game of the season against Bristol City on 11th August."
A product of the Leeds United academy, Walton made his professional debut at the tender age of 16.
He went on to make 37 appearances in all competitions for the Whites, before joining Charlton Athletic for a fee of £500,000 at the start of the 2006/07 season.
Iain Dowie's surprise early sacking at The Valley disrupted Walton's progress though, and he spent time on loan at Ipswich Town and Cardiff City.
The tough tackling midfielder, who can also play in defence, scored against the R's last season, in the Tractor Boys' 3-1 win at Loftus Road in August.
Gaffer John Gregory believes he can get the best out of a player once likened to Leeds United and England international David Batty, commenting: "Simon has been a victim of circumstance in the last 18 months or so.
"I think that we will benefit greatly from the fact that Iain Dowie signed Simon at Charlton and Alan Pardew's arrival has meant that Alan wants his own players in his team.
"Consequently, Simon has become surplus to his requirements.
"Simon is 19 years old but his presence on the field belies his age.
"I think he is going to quickly become a fans' favourite with his no-nonsense approach and 100% commitment to wearing the blue and white hooped shirt."
Walton will wear the No.19 shirt. QPR

Simon Walton has left The Valley to join Charlton's Championship neighbours Queens Park Rangers.
The versatile defender-cum-midfielder, who spent two spells away from SE7 on loan last term, has sealed a permanent £200,000 switch to Loftus Road.
Walton, 19, was the first signing of the Iain Dowie era last summer, but spent most of the campaign plying his trade for both Ipswich Town and Cardiff City in the second tier.
And he actually netted against the Hoops in the second match of his initial spell as a Tractor Boy, converting a 62nd-minute penalty as Ipswich came from behind to win 3-1 in West London.
Former boss Dowie initially paid Leeds United £500,000 for his services, though Walton spent time East Anglia and South Wales while the dramatic events unfolded at The Valley.
Having taken the plunge and moved south, the former England U19 international was a regular fixture in Charlton's pre-season campaign, but having played just five games for Leeds the previous campaign, a move to Ipswich Town was seen as a handy step in his route to the Addicks first team.
Immediately catching the eye for the Tractor Boys, his one-month loan was quickly extended to four months and Walton's arrival at Portman Road coincided with a five-match unbeaten run that saw him score two penalties as well as a deflected effort against Birmingham City.
Combative by nature, Walton's no-nonsense presence in the middle of the park saw him collect six yellow cards and a suspension before he was sent off in a 2-1 defeat at Derby County.
Such competitiveness is a trait that has followed Walton throughout his career from the moment he volunteered to take - and score - a penalty in his first Leeds United outing in pre-season, before being later dismissed for two bookings.
And he would go on to feature 38 times for Leeds, netting three goals until his Valley switch.
Meanwhile, after 19 appearances for Ipswich, Walton returned to The Valley and played his one and only reserve-team fixture, skippering the second string to a 1-0 reserve win at Chelsea on January 22nd.
And his progression continued across the Severn Bridge when he joined the Bluebirds nine days later in a bid to aid their promotion push, and life in Wales started in fine fashion when he was named Sky Sports' man of the match on his debut against Barnsley.
A double booking against former club Leeds - the second a harsh decision for diving - saw him take another early bath and face another ban, and then a third red card late in the game against Sheffield Wednesday on April 4th ruled him out for five matches, effectively ending his season.
Walton played in the opening friendly date of the season, helping Charlton to a 5-0 friendly win at Tooting & Mitcham, but he failed to travel with the first team in their recent trip to Spain, instead representing the reserves at non-league duo Wytleleafe and Brentwood Town. Charlton


Simon Walton began his career with Leeds United at the tender age of 16.
His first ever senior appearance for the Elland Road outfit arrived against Spanish giants Valencia in a pre-season friendly in 2004, where he scored a penalty - and received his marching orders for two bookable offences!
Disciplinary problems hardly hindered the England Under-16 international's progress though, and in his first full season as a professional, he racked up an impressive 32 appearances in all competitions, weighing in with priceless goals against Reading, Preston North End and Cardiff City.
The Yorkshiremen could only manage 14th place in the Championship that year, though, and Blackwell's subsequent strivings for a Play-Off place the following season saw a host of established players join the Club. As a result, Walton was only used on five occasions in 2005/06.
A move to Charlton Athletic followed at the start of the 2006/07 campaign.
Walton became Iain Dowie's first signing, for a fee of £500,000, but when Dowie was sacked just 12 games into the new campaign, Walton slipped down the pecking order at The Valley.
He quickly moved on-loan to get some regular first-team football, plying his trade for Ipswich, for whom he made 19 appearances, scoring three goals, including one from the spot against the R's.
After his loan spell with the Tractor Boys ended in January, the highly-rated 19 year-old joined Cardiff Cardiff on loan for the remainder of the season. QPR

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