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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Other SportsFormer Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart to retire

Former Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart to retire

Celtic’s former England goalkeeper Joe Hart has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

The 36-year-old, who won 75 caps for his country, will quit the game when the Scottish season ends in May.

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He told the club’s official website: “As of June 1, I will stop playing professional football. This is something I have thought about for a while. 

“There is no right or wrong time but the way this club works – there is so much heart and soul poured into what we are doing as a football club. In the grand scheme of the club, the support base and the conversations around it, there is obviously a conversation around the goalkeeping position for next season so I think it’s really important, with the blessing of the club, that we get the message out there so there’s one less thing to speculate about. I am definitely not going to be there next season.”

Hart came through the ranks at hometown club Shrewsbury Town, making his debut as a 17-year-old against Gravesend and Northfleet in the National League.

He came to the attention of Manchester City who signed him in 2006 for a fee in the region of £100,000. Loan spells at Tranmere and Blackpool followed before he established himself as first-choice at the Etihad Stadium.

He made his England debut in 2008 and, despite losing his place at City to Shay Given and subsequently being sent out on loan to Birmingham, went on to win two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two EFL Cups.

His City career effectively ended with the appointment of Pep Guardiola as manager in 2016.

He was sent on loan to Torino and spent the 2017-18 campaign on a similar deal at West Ham.

He left City on a permanent deal in August 2018, joining Burnley before a season at Tottenham was followed by a move to Celtic in 2021.

In Glasgow, he has helped the Hoops to two Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish League Cups and a Scottish Cup.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers said: “Joe has enjoyed a phenomenal career and I know will be huge miss to the game when he finally retires from playing football in the summer.

“For all he has done in football, Joe deserves huge praise and congratulations, he has been such a brilliant asset to Celtic of course and the wider game at the highest levels, domestically and internationally. 

“But more than that, he is a tremendous man, just brilliant to work with, someone who I know has been a great team-mate to so many throughout his career and a player who never gives anything but his absolute best. Each and every day his work ethic is an example to all in football.

“While he will be a real loss on the pitch, I know he will stay in football in some form. It will always be part of his life and I am sure whatever he does after the summer time, everyone at the club wishes him nothing but the very best of success.

“I totally understand and respect Joe’s reasons for making this announcement and for being clear to the club and our fans on his future.

“I also know he will continue to work right through this season with the same intensity, commitment and drive which he has always been known for.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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