KELTY HEARTS have paid tribute to their "most successful captain" Shaun Greig after announcing that he is to retire from the game.

The 32-year-old, who has been with the club since 2014 after signing from Kirkcaldy YM, is set to focus on a new business venture but could return to the club in a coaching capacity.

The New Central Park outfit, who finished third in their maiden Lowland League campaign, have also confirmed that goalkeeper Scott Christie, and striker Scott Dalziel, are also leaving the club this summer as manager Barry Ferguson prepares to reshape his squad.

Greig, who was signed by previous manager Thomas Courts after they successfully avoided relegation from the Super League of the East Region juniors, helped Kelty win the title in his first season they finished as runners-up a year later.

They regained their crown in thrilling fashion in 2016-17, pipping Bonnyrigg Rose to the title, before they made the move into senior football and the East of Scotland League.

Greig was a pivotal figure in their maiden season, featuring 27 times as they won the title and, subsequently, promotion to the Lowland League after hammering South of Scotland champions Threave Rovers 10-0 in a two-legged play-off.

A statement released by the club said: "Captain Shaun Greig has made the decision to hang up his boots after a successful five years at New Central Park, where he lifted three league titles and a cup win.

"Skip has a new business starting up where his time could be limited, and feels now is the right time to pass on the armband as the club enters a new era of sorts.

"The gaffer, the club and Shaun have had positive talks on him returning to the club in a coaching capacity once his business is up and running.

"Shaun will arguably go down as the club's most successful captain, (and) a classy individual who was nothing short of a hero in his time here."

Meanwhile shot-stopper Christie, who signed from Bo'ness United in the summer of 2017, is set to secure what the club said was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at a full-time club in the SPFL", although their identity remains unclear.

He broke the club's record for the most shut-outs in a season – 18 - since Hearts played in the Fife Junior League more than 20 years ago – while Dalziel, who like Greig has been with the club for five years, moves on after six goals in 25 appearances this term.

Kelty added: "Inchy (Christie) has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at a full-time club in the SPFL and Scott, whose game time has been limited this season, has decided to move on to get regular football in the latter part of his career.

"We would like to thank both players for their commitment, skill and attitude during their time at New Central Park."