Glenavon can confirm that Matthew Fitzpatrick has left the club for Linfield.

Matthew, who turns 29 in September, leaves for an undisclosed fee.

Glenavon manager, Gary Hamilton, said: “When we received a couple of bids for Fitzy we asked him what he wanted to do and he wanted to give full-time football a crack.

“We have to respect and understand that as much as it is difficult and frustrating as we didn’t want to lose him.

“He’s started playing soccer late in his career and after a couple of good seasons he’s looked at his situation. He’s in a privileged position as he is in a good job which lets him take five years out and, at the end of it, he can walk back into his role.“

Of course we want what’s best for the club and we want to keep our best players, for Fitzy he probably feels that at his age he may not get this chance again.

“I’m sure he would agree that he’s improved during his time with us but unfortunately we don’t have the full-time model to compete with those other clubs that do. We did speak to Fitzy about improving his contract but from his point of view he wanted to try full-time football.”

Paying tribute to Matthew, Gary added: “When we brought Fitzy in he didn’t cost us anything. He has more than paid us back in terms of performance and goals over the last two-and-a-half years.

“He has been a great lad. He’s shown Glenavon respect throughout the process and done things the right way. He’s been honest about what he’s wanted from day one and you can only respect him for that.

“He’s been outstanding to work with and has never caused us any bother. I want to thank him for everything he has done for us and I want to wish him well for the future.”