LIAM NOBLE insists Forest Green fans made his time at The New Lawn “special”.

The former Forest Green captain has agreed to terminate his three-year deal and has returned to his beloved North East, where he will be able to spend more time with his fiancée and daughter.

Midfield playmaker Noble,26, joined Rovers on a free transfer from Notts County in June 2016 and captained the club through its promotion season from the National League earlier this year into League Two, grabbing 24 assists in both league and cup, scoring eight goals in the process.

Noble said: “Thank you to the chairman and manager for supporting me through this difficult decision. The fans have made my time at the club special – thanks to them.”

Noble had been dropped before the Cambridge United game and missed the subsequent matches against Accrington Stanley, Cheltenham Town and his former club Notts County.

Last week, Forest Green released a statement to say Noble was expected to be sidelined for the foreseeable future due to “a medical matter”.

The Magpies tried to re-sign him during the summer, but he ended up staying at Forest Green, penning a new three-year deal after County stated they had a £100,000 bid turned down, which was swiftly denied by Rovers' chairman Dale Vince.

Forest Green manager Mark Cooper paid tribute to his former captain, he added: “Liam has family in the North East that he needs to be with, and we understand that. His efforts and hard work on the pitch are recognised and appreciated by both the club and the fans. We wish him the best of luck.”