Leaving Ross County was never going to be easy for Scott Fox.
During his four-year stint at Victoria Park, goalkeeper Fox firmly established himself as the Staggies’ first choice and claimed a League Cup winner’s medal, although he did not play in the final win over Hibernian in 2016 due to injury.
Having become a father for the first time two years ago, Fox’s spell in the Highlands will leave a lasting mark on the Belshill-born player.
Fox’s family have been based in the central belt since last year, which prompted his decision to turn down a new deal with the Dingwall side.
Fox leaves County on the back of guiding the club back to the Premiership 12 months after he opted to remain following their relegation, which the 31-year-old says partly softened the blow at parting ways with the Staggies.
Fox said: “I think last year was the highlight of my time at Ross County. Coming down from the Premiership we had a wee bit of a target on our back.
“To do what we did, and the way we did it, was quite special for me. I didn’t want to leave last year after relegation. I always had a feeling we would go back up with the way the club was.
“I just wanted to put things right. This year gave me the opportunity to do that, and we have done it. I sacrificed a lot last year, living in two different places.
“I have got a house down the road now, and if I had stayed up the road I was going to have to pay for two houses. I did it last year and I wasn’t going to do it again.
“It’s easier to leave this year, on a high, although I wouldn’t say a lot easier. I can look back on fond memories of the people up there and end on a positive note, which my four years have been.”
Fox takes pride in his role in County’s cup winning side under Jim McIntyre three years ago, despite a knee injury forcing him to watch from the sidelines.
He said: “There’s two regrets – missing the cup final and getting relegated. That’s a negative, but the positives outweigh the negatives as far as I’m concerned.
“I played at Hampden, beat Celtic and saved a penalty as well. You always look at the positives. We won it as a squad, and I would have felt a lot worse if we had lost.
“Obviously I look back and wish I had played, but I felt like I did enough in the previous rounds and the boys saw it through.”
Fox has been overwhelmed by the messages left by County fans following news of his departure, adding: “I have been taken aback by it. As a goalkeeper you usually get dog’s abuse on social media.
“The messages that have been sent from the fans, I can only thank them. It was my pleasure to play for them.
“I had my first child there, so I will always look back with fond memories, and how good the people around me and the club were.
“This is the first time I have won with having a family. I have grown up as a man, through family and life things. It will always have a special place in my heart. We end on good terms and we move on.
“Hopefully the fans back the goalkeeper that comes in as much as me.”