FORMER Colchester United loanee Jimmy Walker has been appointed goalkeeping coach at Ipswich Town.

He has joined new boss Paul Lambert's backroom staff from Sunderland.

Walker is making the switch in order to be closer to his family, who are based in Stamford.

“It was a very difficult decision for me as I've loved every minute at Sunderland," he told the Black Cats website.

"It’s a fantastic club.

“But being away from my family in recent months has been challenging, so I would like to thank everyone at the club, especially the manager and staff, for their understanding.

"I wish the club and the fans every success for the rest of the season.”

Walker, who joined the Wearsiders in the summer, is believed to be starting work with the Blues immediately, having played under Lambert during a spell on loan at Colchester.

The 45-year-old was at the JobServe Community Stadium from November 2008 to March 2009 and made 16 appearances for the U's.