CELTIC Invincible Tom Rogic has quit football – at the age of 30.
The Wizard of Oz, a Hoops fans’ favourite, has hung up his boots after leaving West Brom at the end of the season.
Rogic had been out of football for four months before Steve Bruce took him to the Championship club on a 12-month contract with the option of another year.
However, things didn’t work out for the flamboyant Aussie at the Hawthorns. He netted only two goals in 23 appearances, the manager was sacked in October, he struggled for consistent game time under successor Carlos Coberan and the deal was scrapped at the end of a disappointing campaign.
THE HISTORY-MAKER…Tom Rogic draws back his right foot as Dons defenders Andy Considine and Anthony O’Connor try to intercept the Aussie as he preapres to score the Scottish Cup Final winner on May 27 2017.
Rogic, who was signed by Neil Lennon from Central Coast Mariners in 2013, paid an emotional tribute to Celtic. The former international playmaker took to Instagram to say: “I feel very lucky to have had a career where I spent the majority of my time playing at Celtic Football Club, one of the biggest clubs in the world, playing European football, winning many trophies and playing in front of 60,000 fans each week.
“I have also been lucky enough to represent my country with the Socceroos on over 50 occasions and experienced playing in major international tournaments.
“I’d like to thank all of my team-mates for everything over the past 12 years, it’s been a special journey which I’ll look back on with fond memories. I feel very lucky to have formed some wonderful friendships through football and experienced so many special moments together.
“I would also like to thank Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond. Without their help all of this would not have been possible. Through Peter and Dermot, I was put in direct contact with one of the world’s leading medical experts, which eventually led to my wife and I being placed at the clinic that would give us the best chance possible to start a family.”
Earlier in the social media message, Rogic admitted: “After careful consideration I have made the decision to retire from professional football. I have always been rather private with things in my personal life, but I feel given the significance, I think it is important for people to understand why and how I have made my decision.
TREBLE YELL…Tom Rogic races away in triumph after his moment of magic that sealed the Invincibles’ clean sweep of silverware in the unforgettable 2016/17 campaign.
“Throughout the past seven years, my wife and I have been on an immensely challenging journey with fertility issues. After years of trying and many failed rounds of IVF, my wife and I were fortunate enough to welcome the birth of our daughter in 2021. I have loved every minute of being a dad and consider it my greatest achievement in life.
“After experiencing some more struggles and heartache with fertility treatment, we have recently received the amazing news that our family is growing and we will be expecting twins in 2024. Given our past and how hard we have fought for this, along with the challenges that will come with having twins and a 2 year old, now seems like the right time to give my focus and attention to what is the most important thing in my life – my family.”
Rogic added: “To the managers who supported and guided me through some tough times, I’d like to say a big thank you to Brendan Rodgers, Neil Lennon, John Kennedy and Ange Postecoglou.
“Indeed I would like to thank everyone in football who has given me such great opportunity throughout my career to be part of the game I love.
“And finally, I want to thank all the fans who have given me so much support, you have been everything to me. I’m looking forward to what comes next and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.”
Rogic embedded a place in Celtic history on the Saturday afternoon of May 27 2017 when he embarked upon a thrilling, slalom-like run through a retreating Aberdeen rearguard before slotting a last-gasp winner past keeper Joe Lewis to claim the Scottish Cup and seal the domestic clean sweep in the season the Hoops were unbeatable.
It was a magical moment from the likeable Aussie who played his last game for the club in a 6-0 triumph over Motherwell on May 14 2022 as Ange Postecoglou’s team paraded the team’s tenth title in 11 years at the conclusion of another memorable campaign.
All at CQN and the worldwide Celtic family thank Rogic for the memories and wish him and his family the best of fortune in the future.