Romanov sanctioned the striker's loan move to Tynecastle from his Lithuanian club FB Kaunas in 2006, where Velicka made his name before joining Norwegians Viking in February.

"I have to thank Mr Romanov because he trusted me and he put faith in me when I was at Kaunas," Velicka told The Herald.

"I had to work hard at Kaunas to get my chance to go to Hearts. If I am honest, no-one from Lithuania will come from my country straight to Rangers.

"He gave me my chance and at Hearts I proved to everyone what I could do."