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Joe Hart trims emotional figure in incredible Celtic farewell ahead of retirement

Joe Hart received a resounding welcome from Celtic fans when he came on as a substitute in his final match at Celtic Park.

The 37-year-old announced in February that he would retire from professional football at the end of the season after a 21-year career.

Hart bid farewell to Celtic after three successful years before retiring

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Hart bid farewell to Celtic after three successful years before retiringCredit: @ScotlandSky

Hart has been Celtic’s No.1 choice in goal since signing for the club in 2021, helping them to three Scottish Premiership titles.

He started at Celtic Park for the final time on Saturday in their 3-2 win over St Mirren and the home fans showed their adoration.

A grand tifo of the former Manchester City player was revealed before kick-off and the goalkeeper showed his appreciation.

Hart was then brought down by Brendan Rodgers in the 88th minute and the Celtic fans rose to their feet to give him a standing ovation.

The veteran took it all in and looked emotional as he left the field to be replaced by Scott Bain before hugging Rodgers.

Speaking to fans on the pitch at full time in an interview with Sky Sports, he said: “Guys, I’ve never felt so special professionally in my entire life.

“Myself, my family, from the bottom of my heart, I adore each and every one of you, everyone associated with this football club.”

He added: “It’s such a special place and I was asked yesterday: ‘How do you explain this to people?’

Hart appeared emotional as he left the pitch at Celtic Park for the final time

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Hart appeared emotional as he left the pitch at Celtic Park for the final timeCredit: @ScotlandSky
Supporters showed their love for the goalkeeper before kick-off

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Supporters showed their love for the goalkeeper before kick-offCredit: @ScotlandSky

“I don’t want to explain this to anyone, this isn’t a club that needs explaining, this is a club that speaks for itself. You guys are absolutely phenomenal, it’s part of you, you me you made me feel so special.

“Thank you, I love it, thank you so much for having me.”

He and his Celtic teammates then took to the stage to collect their Scottish Premiership winners’ medals and lift the trophy.

Hart leaves Celtic having made 152 appearances in all competitions, with his final game coming in the Scottish Cup final against Rangers next weekend.

In total, he made over 700 appearances for ten clubs during his career, which began at Shrewsbury Town in 2003.

He then won two Premier League titles at City before leaving in 2018 for Burnley then Tottenham before arriving at Celtic.

Hart also made 75 international appearances for England, appearing in the World Cup and Euros for his country.

The goalkeeper is now ready to hang up his gloves and return to what has proven to be a hugely successful career.

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