DEAN SHIELS will leave Athletic when his contract expires today, it has been announced.

The Pars have confirmed that the 33-year-old, who moved to East End Park last summer, will not be with the club next season and said that "further information on other players will be provided in due course".

The former Northern Ireland midfielder, who can count the likes of Hibernian, Kilmarnock and Rangers amongst his former clubs, signed for Dunfermline in July after leaving North American Soccer League side FC Edmonton. 

He made his debut as a substitute in a Betfred Cup tie at East Fife and featured regularly in the first half of the season.

However, Shiels hit the headlines in October when he was abused by two Falkirk players over his missing eye.

Kevin O'Hara and Joe McKee were hit with eight and four-game suspensions by the Scottish Football Association respectively after being found guilty of taunting the Pars player during an Irn-Bru Cup loss, in which Shiels was sent off.

The fall-out over the incident then saw the Bairns apologise for a section of their support mocking Shiels in a game at Inverness, before he was targeting by Falkirk fans throwing fake eyeballs during the New Year clash between the clubs at East End.

After the game, which Dunfermline won 2-0, Pars chairman Ross McArthur, and Falkirk themselves, condemned the abuse, which led to two individuals being charged by police.

Following that match, Shiels only featured four more times for the club, with his last appearance coming in a 2-1 home defeat to St Mirren at the end of January.

A statement from the club said: "Dean Shiels will leave our club when his contract expires today (31 May).

"We wish Dean and his family well for his future career, and thank him for his efforts last season.

"Further information on other players will be provided in due course."

In total, Shiels played 25 times for Athletic.