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Retiring Hart thanks Celtic fans for making him feel ‘special’

Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart thanked the Glasgow giants’ supporters for making him feel “special” following his final league appearance on Saturday

The 37-year-old received a huge ovation from the Parkhead faithful after being taken off in the 87th minute, just after Luis Palma had scored the winner in a 3-2 victory over St Mirren that meant Celtic, who had already retained the Scottish Premiership title, ended their league season with a win.

Former Manchester City and England goalkeeper Hart will now look to secure the seventh trophy of his three years in Glasgow when Celtic face arch-rivals Rangers in next week’s Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park.

A huge banner bearing the words ‘Super Joe Hart’ was unveiled at the start of Saturday’s second half, with the keeper telling the crowd shortly before the Premiership trophy presentation ceremony: “Guys, I have never felt professionally that special before in my entire life.

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

Hart added: “It’s such a special place. I was asked yesterday (Friday), how do you explain this to people? I don’t want to explain this to anyone, this is not a club that needs explaining, this is a club that speaks for itself.

“You guys are absolutely phenomenal. It’s part of you, you have made me feel so special and humble.

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

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