“I genuinely look forward to supporting this club forever, it’s a part of me,” Joe Hart

Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart might be playing at Ibrox for the last time this weekend but with the return of around 2500 Celtic supporters for the fixture there next season, the former England goalkeeper is already eyeing one of those precise tickets for himself to head back as a Celtic supporter.

Celtic v Livingston – Scottish Cup – Kyogo and Joe Hart. Photo Andrew Milligan

Celtic will never leave Joe Hart

There’s no doubt that playing for Celtic has made a significant impact on Joe Hart and forms a major part of his own footballing story. Hart may be leaving Celtic in a few months time but Celtic will never leave Joe Hart.

“I genuinely look forward to supporting this club forever, it’s a part of me,” Joe Hart said, as reported by Glasgow Times. “This is me removing myself from a guy who doesn’t want to talk about what’s next, but I look forward to being a football supporter at some point in my life. And this is one of the teams I’ll be a fan of.”

Asked about his thoughts on the restoration of an away allocation for the Glasgow Derby fixtures starting next season, the veteran Celtic goalkeeper pointed out that it won’t affect him as he is hanging up his gloves at the end of this campaign.

 Kyogo Furuhashi scores the winner during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between theRangers and Celtic at Ibrox on September 03, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

A real buzz

“I’m going to remove myself from the situation I’m in now because my immediate reaction is that it means nothing to me [the restoration of away allocations]. But if I was to take away the guy I’ll be when it’s going on it’ll be great.

“It’ll be a real buzz. I’ve played in a 50-50 split here when it was at Hampden and it was electric. [Whether you] come out good side [or] come out the bad side, it’s emotional.

“Since I’ve been here, we’ve had fans, I think the most has been 700-750, and it was strange at the start of the season, winning away and having no-one to put your gratitude towards. Because even though we played without supporters that day you still feel it in the build-up, to have your support and your club behind you, so it’ll be nice, it’ll be a great spectacle.

You need away supporters

“Around the world this fixture is heavily respected and to keep that respect you need away supporters in there. You never know, I might be one of those couple of thousand.”

Hart appreciates the magnitude of the game this weekend, with any Glasgow Derby meaning everything to both sets of supporters, this one more that most given where we are in the season and what the result will mean come Sunday afternoon.

The fixture, Hart reckons, is suffering in terms of its world-wide reputation because of the decisions taken by theRangers and forced on the by their supporters to drastically reduce the Celtic allocation for the Free Broomloan Road stand after Odsonne Edouard’s winner on Beautiful Sunday back in March 2018.

If people don’t know then they don’t know,” Joe Hart said. “I do know, and I know the build-up to these games is huge, the emotion to these games is huge. If you’re not winning world-wide acclaim or awards, who cares?

“When you’re in it, when you’re emotionally invested, I don’t care what anyone says, I know how it feels,” Hart stated.

If Celtic has made a profound impact on Joe Hart then the same can be said about his own impact at Celtic over his three seasons. And Hart is finishing with a flourish looking magnificent in the Celtic goals. He’ll be eyeing a clean sheet on Sunday to do his part and then leave it up to his teammates to cause damage at the other end of the park.

Celtic v Livingston – Scottish Cup – Kyogo Furuhashi embraces  Joe Hart. Photo Andrew Milligan

Hart’s wee pal Kyogo might fancy his third winner of the season against theRangers….

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