Crawley Town have signed midfielder Simon Walton on a two-year contract.

Walton is new manager Mark Yates’ first signing since taking over last month.

The 27-year-old has spent the last three seasons in League Two. He made 83 appearances for Hartlepool before joining Stevenage last term, for whom he scored five goals in 33 games.

Yates said: “I’m delighted to make my first signing as manager and very pleased it’s Simon, who I think is going to be a terrific asset for us in midfield.”

Walton started his career at Leeds United and joined Charlton in a £500,000 deal in 2004. QPR then paid £200,000 for his services and in 2008 he headed to Plymouth, for whom he played 66 times and scored nine goals.

He has also played for Ipswich, Hull, Blackpool, Crewe and Sheffield United on loan in an 11-year career which so far has included 294 appearances.