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Sinclair, Juranovic and Idah react to Hart statement.

Normally prolific on social media it took Joe Hart until 2pm on Sunday to sum up his feelings following his final appearance at Celtic Park.

Other than the inconvenience of two first half goals from Mark O’Hara the day could hardly have gone any better as three eventful years as Celtic goalkeeper came to an end.

The sun shone throughout, every seat in the stadium was filled with Hart joined by his son and daughter before and after the match to take in the support and acclaim of the Celtic support.

Team-mates past and present shared their appreciation of the retiring goalkeeper who has made a big impact at each of the clubs along the route to joining Celtic in August 2021.

The Celtic side is much changed from the one that Hart joined, Carl Starfelt and Josip Juranovic have moved on to Spain and Germany, David Turnbull left Celtic in January with the first season wingers, Jota and Liel Abada now scattered far and wide to the USA and Saudi Arabia.

Hart has played a full part in three title wins with one more fixture offering him the chance to take his medal tally to seven out of nine after a phone call from Ange Postecoglou and a gut feeling that Celtic was the right career move.

During an interview with Celtic TV on Friday Hart spoke of how Fraser Foster’s experiences first alerted him to Celtic but the club he joined almost three years ago has evolved quickly during the course of three seasons.

Postecoglou had initially decided to try out Vasilis Barkas and Scott Bain but the Champions League knock-out from Midtjylland convinced him that he needed more than a goalkeeper, he needed a personality and a leader.

When Cameron Carter-Vickers was signed at the end of the summer transfer window a new look Celtic defence came together with very clear instructions from Hart, slowly a title winning side emerged despite three defeats from the first seven SPFL fixtures.

In February, on the back of a deflating 1-1 home draw against Kilmarnock Hart announced that he would be retiring at the end of his contract.

He could have picked up lucrative offers from the Saudi Pro League or elsewhere but it was full concentration on Celtic and the chance to go out on a real high rather than drift off chasing a pension top up.

Football involves many different dynamics, suddenly the Celtic players realised that beyond the end of this season there would be no more Big Joe in the dressing room.

Slipping into second place in the SPFL was painful but could be recovered, ‘doing it for Joe’ suddenly became a thing with an extra focus as the countdown got underway to Hart’s finale.

From the gloom of February Cameron Carter-Vickers returned to the defence, Reo Hatate came back and instantly hit top form with Callum McGregor defying the medics to bring his leadership to the party.

After defying the odds to get a draw at Ibrox at the start of April it was wins all the way with the added drama of a penalty shoot out at Hampden to book Saturday’s place in the final of the Scottish Cup.

There is still one big wave of emotion to surf, if Hart leaves Hampden clutching the Scottish Cup it will complete another amazing chapter in Celtic history.


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A post shared by Joe Hart (@joehartofficial)

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