Former Blackpool, West Ham and Burnley star to retire at 37

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A one-time Blackpool loanee that played a part in their 2007 promotion will bring an end his career at the end of the 2023/24 season.

​​Former Blackpool goalkeeper Joe Hart has announced that he will retire at the end of the season, bringing to an end a 21-year playing career.

Hart - currently at Scottish Premiership giants Celtic - began his career in 2003 but 2024 represents the end of his playing spell. The 36-year-old announced the decision on Thursday afternoon and will play up until the conclusion of the 2023/24 season.

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Hart is currently 36, but turns 37 in mid-April, and that will be how old he is when he retires. He was just 17-years-old when he made his debut for Shrewsbury Town in 2004.

He told Celtic TV: "I wanted to get the message out as of June I am going to stop playing football. This is something that I have thought about for a while, there's no right or wrong time is there?

"There is obviously a conversation around the goalkeeping position for next season and I think it's really important that with the blessing of the club we get the message out and it takes one thing out of what people are going to speculate over.

"Physically I feel great, I feel as good as I possibly can do. For my age and what I have done to my body, I have been on the bench since I was 15, have been involved in professional football every day since I was 16.

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"I have gone down every avenue to keep myself in the best possible shape to give my all on game day and I do really think I am at that peak, but I am aware time waits for no man and I don't want my body to be retiring me. That was one of the key factors, thinking I can smash through the finish line.

"Mentally I am in the one place I like to be, I am in a place of clarity. Obviously I have thought about this a lot. There's loads of key factors that have come into it but I think the right time is now."

Hart's stint at Bloomfield Road was a short one having joined from Manchester City in the 2006/07 season. He played five matches in the 2006/07 season, the year in which Simon Grayson was manager and they went up through the play-offs. The 2020 Carabao Cup runner-up provided cover for when Paul Rachubbka was unavailable and won all the matches that he played in, marking his final game with a 6-3 win over Swansea City.

He became Birmingham City's first-choice goalkeeper in the 2009/10 season and the Shrewsbury-born keeper would return to Manchester and become their first-choice goalkeeper for six campaigns. He would win two Premier League titles, two League Cups and one FA Cup. 

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Hart would later play for Torino, West Ham, Burnley and Spurs before ending up at Celtic where he has played for the last three seasons. At Celtic Park, he has won two Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish League Cup and one Scottish Cup. Hart made 75 caps for the England national team with his last appearance coming in 2017.

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