ALLOA boss Danny Lennon confirmed the departure of towering striker Geoff Mitchell by mutual consent at the weekend.

The Wasps hitman, who only joined the club in the summer after impressing during pre-season, signed his release papers last week on compassionate grounds and departed to move back to his native London to be with his family after a relative became seriously ill.

And Lennon paid tribute to the popular big striker and says he leaves the club with their best wishes for the future.

He explained: "We were really sad to see Geoff go, but he leaves with a great deal of admiration for the choice he has made. He has sacrificed his dream of playing Championship football this season to go home and be a rock for his family. They have a lot to deal with right now, following some tragic news and Geoff is putting family first ahead of his own aspirations to make life better for his loved ones. You have to admire the big fella for his character. He has made the right choice for the benefit of his loved ones and our thoughts are with him. He came to us a bit raw, with bags of potential.

"I don’t think I have ever seen anyone work so hard off the pitch to fulfil their full potential. He bagged a lot of goals for us preseason, but this situation has been playing on his mind for weeks now, which has undoubtedly hit his form. I feel for him, I really do. He wanted this so much, but at the end of the day, family should always be a bigger priority and Geoff has got that spot on. He was really emotional to leave, as he loved being part of this club and we loved having him. Our thoughts are with him and I really hope he finds his way to playing for a London club somewhere, as he has a lot to give to the beautiful game."

The Wasps boss did reveal that the club are now spreading the net far and wide in a bid to find a replacement for Mitchell and one possible target linked is Brazilian striker Lucas De Azevedo Macedo.

Lennon added: "We now have a hole to fill in our squad. We have a Brazilian striker in on trial at the moment and we will see over the days ahead whether we are a good fit for each other."