JOE HART insists he will NOT reconsider his decision to quit, despite overwhelming calls to play on.

Back in late February, the 37-year-old keeper broke the news he would be retiring from the game he has graced for two decades, as CQN reported at the time.

Former Hoops boss Neil Lennon is just one of 75 times-capped England international’s admirers and the Irishman has already stated he is hanging up his gloves too early.

Others have joined the clamour for Hart to sign for at least another year, but the one-time Manchester City netminder will not be swayed by public opinion and is adamant the time is right to bow out at the top.

CROWNING GLORY…Joe Hart holds aloft his third successive Premiership trophy.

Hart said an emotional farewell to a rocking, 60,000 sell-out Celtic Park in the 3-2 win over St Mirren as the curtain came down on the team’s third successive title triumph.

The popular personality, who joined in a bargain £1million switch from Spurs in August 2021, will make his last appearance for Brendan Rodgers’ side in the Scottish Cup Final showpiece against Rangers at Hampden on Saturday.

In the aftermath of the title silverware presentation, Hart said: “I got to a point, I had a very good twenties, my football was really good, but then I struggled a bit in terms of my place. Then I got this opportunity which I couldn’t turn down.

“But I didn’t know how it was going to play out, I wanted to commit for the three years and give everything. I got to a point in my life where I was potentially on the way out and got another opportunity.

“I don’t want to push that luck, I want to finish strong, in a special place, in a special club.

“That’s just me. It’s my time to move aside and let someone else have some fun.

ROARING SUCCESS…Joe Hart is a big noise on his final appearance at Celtic Park.

“It’s definitely not physical, I feel fine. But I felt like this was the right moment. I felt really uncomfortable knowing, but not telling the manager or the lads.

“I wanted to say it and for everyone to understand that I was doing it. And then to make sure I worked hard and was at my peak when I finished.”

Hart revealed he had first made the admission to goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods following their win at St Mirren in the Scottish Cup in February, before making the news public 11 days later.

The much-decorated shotstopper who has now won six medals at Celtic and is looking for the magnificent seven at the weekend, speaking to Sky Sports, continued: “I was crying my eyes out, he thought there was some kind of family emergency.

“I eventually managed to tell him and he was shocked, but very understanding.

“What a football club, I’m truly honoured to have played for it, it’s a sad day, but it’s the right time. We were able to smile on this occasion, but we’ve got a lot of work to do this week.”

END OF THE GLOVE AFFAIR…Joe Hart says farewell to the Celtic fans as he makes his final league appearance for the champions.

Hart was visibly emotional when he came out for the second-half of the match against the Paisley club to be confronted with a huge banner which read ‘Super Joe Hart’.

He added: “I didn’t even know! I wasn’t looking for it, then I saw it.

“This place, honestly – they know how to get to you. I didn’t want anything.

“There’s two different people, there’s a guy who just came from Shrewsbury and just loves his family and his children.

“And then there’s that lunatic who wants to play football, fight and get stuck in.”


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