Jimmy Walker is the latest West Ham United player to go out on loan after joining League One outfit Colchester United.

The goalkeeper will go straight into Paul Lambert's plans for their weekend trip to Northampton Town. The Essex club are just outside the relegation zone but could jump five places with a victory. Walker, who has been at the Boleyn Ground since summer 2004, will stay with Colchester until 3 January

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge," Walker said. "Hopefully we can get some victories under our belt and I can help the team keep the ball out of the net! This is a good challenge for me and one I am looking forward to. I had a few offers but this is the one that felt right."

Walker, 35, is a popular figure with Hammers fans - not least because of his penalty save from Chelsea's Frank Lampard in October 2004. The form of Robert Green has meant first-team opportunities have been limited for Walker, who has been challenging for the No1 spot with Jan Lastuvka and Marek Stech. He first made his name with Walsall, making more than 400 appearances between 1993 and 2004.

The club have already loaned out Josh Payne (Cheltenham Town), Nigel Quashie (Birmingham City), Bondz N'Gala (MK Dons) and Jordan Spence (Leyton Orient).