Bradford City fans played key role in Jamie Walker’s new deal

SATURDAY may have represented the end of another forgettable season for Bradford City, but few could say the day was not a memorable one for Jamie Walker.

It was not necessarily all to do with his third goal in successive League One home matches either in the Bantams’ 2-0 win over Carlisle United in front of a crowd of 18,283 – a record in the fourth tier at the Utilita Energy Stadium.

The Scottish winger, who has since agreed a two-year deal with City following a loan spell from SPL side Hearts, was serenaded with chants of ‘Sign him up’ from the home faithful when he exited the fray.

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Later that night, manager Mark Hughes and chief executive officer Ryan Sparks successfully continued the sales pitch to convince the 28-year-old to stay.

Bradford City's Jamie Walker. Picture Tony Johnson

Walker, who will officially join on July 1 after his Hearts deal ends, said: “I hadn’t made my mind up 100 per cent until Saturday, but when I was subbed and with the reaction I got, I just thought: ‘let’s get it done.’

“Any game is nice to score in, but to finish the season with three wins in a largely disappointing season – even though I have not been here all season – is a nice way to finish.

“It (Bradford) was an option I always had and I’d enjoyed my time and it was not just the game at the weekend as the fans have been fantastic since I joined.

“There were a few offers toing and froing and back and forward. I had a meeting with my agent at the stadium after the match and it wasn’t to actually sign, but talk to Ryan and the gaffer, but we agreed on something and it was something I was happy with and my family were, so we got it done.”

Meanwhile, Walker sees no reason why City, with the right recruitment and the presence of Hughes in the dug-out, cannot make a sustained impact in the division next term.

He added: “There’s no getting away from it that not just this season – but the past two or three – have been largely disappointing. But I don’t even think it is a League One club, with its stadium and fans, it could easily be a Championship club.

“We have a Premier League manager and everyone is pulling in the right direction. With the right recruitment in the summer, hopefully we can really push on and use the last three games as a springboard to have a really good season.”