ALFRETON Town have sold leading scorer Liam Hearn to Blue Square Premier Divison rivals Grimsby Town for an undisclosed five-figure fee.
Hearn, who hit 32 goals for the Reds during the Blue Square Bet North title-winning 2010/11 season, has moved on despite being offered improved terms by the club for the forthcoming campaign.
Alfreton chairman Wayne Bradley said: “We wish Liam well and thank him for his efforts over the past three seasons.
“However, our fans need to realise that it wasn’t something we planned, wanted, or needed to do.
“It is entirely down to the player and his agent who had informed us that no matter what deal or how much money we put on the table for Liam, he would not be stopping at Alfreton.
“The reality is that while Liam still had one year left on his current contract with Alfreton Town, his agent has persuaded him that he should be moving on to chase honours with a ‘bigger club’. It is obvious that Liam had no desire to stay with us and prove himself at the highest non-league level.
“Yes, we are disappointed, but we are certainly not despondent. Things like this happen in football and the spirit and confidence in the camp remains totally buoyant.
“We will move on, as we did when Kyle McFadzean moved last August. Doors open for other players to step up the plate as it did with Kyle and Aden Flint took full advantage to show what he could do.
“I have no doubt we still have plenty of fire power in the club and our fans can also look forward to welcoming several new faces to the Impact Arena in the not too distant future.”
Alfreton have negotiated a sell-on clause with the deal.