Borders based football manager Jim Jefferies is to retire after resigning from his post at Dunfermline Athletic earlier this week.
The 64-year-old, who lives in Lauder, had planned to hang up his boots at the end of May next year when his three year contract with The Pars expires.
However, a run of poor results, including a shock Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Stranraer a week ago and a 3-1 league defeat to Airdrieonians on Saturday, prompted Jefferies to hand over the reins sooner than expected.
“I decided that if I passed on the role things would be a bit more relaxed and the players would not have to suffer,” he said, referring to recent criticism from supporters.
“If you do not start well or if something goes against you, you might find the atmosphere will just escalate and it will be a horrible environment.”
Jefferies earned his managerial spurs at Lauder United Amateurs, Hawick Royal Albert and Gala Fairydean before moving on to the top job at Berwick Rangers. He led Hearts to a Scottish Cup victory during a five year stint at Tynecastle from 1995 - 2000 and returned for a spell in 2010/11 after spells with Bradford City and Kilmarnock.
“I will enjoy my retirement, I will still go and watch Dunfermline given the opportunity,” he concluded.