Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart to retire at the end of the season

The former England international will draw a line under a long career.

Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart to retire at the end of the season SNS Group

Joe Hart is to retire from football at the end of the current season, Celtic have announced.

The goalkeeper has reached the decision to call an end to his time as a player this summer, and Celtic will now be looking for a new number one this summer.

“This is something that I’ve thought about for a while,” Hart said.

“There’s no right or wrong time but the way this club works, there’s so much on it and so much heart and soul poured into what we’re doing as a football club, and there’s a conversation about the goalkeeper position for next season.

“So with the blessing of the club, and I’ve had conversations with Brendan Rodgers and Stevie Woods, we get the message out. it takes one thing off the table that people have to speculate over.

“I’m not going to be there next season, not going to be available and so I wanted to take that off the table.”

While Hart says he still feels physically fit to continue after more than 20 years in the professional game, he said he didn’t want to wait until his fitness forced him to stop, and he wanted to “smash through the finish line”.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers told the club’s official website: “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.”

Hart, who earned 75 caps for England between 2008 and 2017, joined Celtic in 2021 and has won two league titles, two League Cups and one Scottish Cup in his time in Scotland so far.  

The 36-year-old began his career with Shrewsbury Town in 2003 and his talents have since taken him to Manchester City, Torino, West Ham, Burnley and Spurs, among others.

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