IRVINE Meadow will be without this season's top scorer next year - and for the rest of this season.

The club confirmed the departure of Callum Graham to West of Scotland Football League Premier Division rivals Clydebank.

The striker, who has scored 18 times for Kevin Deeney's side this season, left with immediate effect at the beginning of the month - meaning he won't feature in Medda's final three games of the league campaign.

However, the 27-year-old will also be unable to feature for his new side, having signed after the March 31 deadline for new signings.

The striker, who scored a 15-minute hat-trick against his new side earlier this season, cited personal reasons for his decision to depart at this time.

Graham and his partner are expecting a new baby soon, and Clydebank offers him a place to play closer to home.

The striker told meddaTV: "It's been a pleasure to play for a Club like Irvine Meadow. I’d like to thank the committee, the management teams and fans for their support in my time here.

"When Clydebank contacted the club about a possible transfer deal, I spoke with my family and we all agreed it would be in my best interests to be playing my football closer to home especially with the wee one on the way.”

The transfer is one which has come as "depressing" news for fans at Meadow Park who know the striker will be a "massive loss".

And in the club's first match without their top marksman, they fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Auchinleck Talbot.

His goals will be hard to replace for Medda - though Graham's performances this season were always going to attract attention.

The Times understands Premier Division champions Beith also enquired about the triker earlier this season.

Now, fans are hopeful the club's board will back boss Kevin Deeney to replace Graham.

Reacting to the news, one fan said: "Good goals scorers and good centre backs are like gold dust at any level of football.

"I hope and trust we got plenty dosh, from the sale of this lad, replacing him will not be an easy task."

While another added: "Hopefully the money brought in for Callum and a better budget is sitting ready for Kevin to get in players.

"Seems the dressing room's getting torn apart regularly at the club. Hopefully Kevin, Gary, and the coaches can change that next season."