BRAEHEAD CLAN captain Matt Keith has made a heartfelt tribute to the Glasgow club after announcing he has left Scotland.

The 34-year-old has spent three seasons on Clyde side but it has now emerged his time with the Gardiner Conference champions is at an end.

After joining Clan from Salzburg back in 2014, the former Chicago Blackhawks man became a cult hero with the Braehead fan base.

He was part of the side that went to within a point of the league title two years ago and Keith helped Braehead to retaining the Gardiner Conference trophy this year.

It now appears likely Keith will return to North America to pursue a career away from ice hockey, however no official announcement has yet been made.

"I am writing this today to say thank you from the bottom of my heart," he said in an open letter to supporters. "The last three years turned into something I couldn't of imagined and I am very grateful for that.

"It was a pleasure to play under a coach and person like Ryan [Finnerty], it was a privilege to pull the Braehead jersey on and it was an absolute honour to wear the Captains “C” on my heart and try to put my best foot forward every day.

"When we made the decision to come to Glasgow, I thought two years would be it. I came with the idea that I wanted to finish my career in the UK, work towards the next chapter of my life and if I had the chance to be closer to all my relatives in Scotland and take advantage of my heritage, I would.

"All of that held true, that is until I put that purple jersey on for the first time and I knew maybe two years wasn't enough. Our lives have changed dramatically here."

It was an emotional journey for Keith during his time in Scotland. An Edmonton man with Scottish roots, the lives of him and his wife Chelsea did indeed change forever with the birth of their daughter Lola in December 2015.

As told to SportTimes just days after, Keith explained how Chelsea had gone in to labour while he was playing for Clan at the Braehead Arena.

To add to the tale, on the day he brought his family home he flew solo to Northern Ireland to play for Braehead in a win over the Belfast Giants, before catching a lift on a supporters bus home on the ferry that night to be reunited with his young family.

It is just one special memory the burly hockey player will look back fondly on from his time here.

He added: "We welcomed our daughter Lola, at QEU hospital and nothing can compare to how special that moment was. Looking back, it feels a bit crazy to have brought Lola and Chelsea home for the first time and a few hours later fly to Belfast to play that night, but I wouldn't change it for anything.

"To score a goal for them that game felt like the icing on the cake, but to have your team mates blast the song LOLA by the Kinks and all sing along in the dressing room post win is a memory I will forever cherish. Thank you guys.

"Over the past three years, we have met so many wonderful people, and formed many lifelong friendships we will forever hold close. From the OSC, to the fans, off ice officials, the staff and management, thank you for everything.

"Finner, thank you for three great years. A lot of ups and downs, but you have always treated myself and my family with so much respect and kindness and we are very appreciative of that.

"My team mates from all three years, thank you for allowing me to be a leader. It was a role I took great pride in, I learned and grew so much, so thank you.

"We didn't always make it easy on ourselves, but man did we ever get to experience some special times together at Braehead in front of our great fans.

"I am leaving Braehead fully focused on pursuing the next chapter of my life and will look back on our time here with nothing but the best of memories.

"Thank you, Matt."