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300 up for Hart

Manchester City's Joe Hart after the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

Manchester City's Joe Hart after the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

As the curtain came down on the 2014/15 campaign, Joe Hart penned another two lines to his already lengthy footballing CV.

On the same day he smashed a Premier League record by becoming the first goalkeeper to pick up a fourth Golden Glove award, England’s no.1 chalked up his 300th appearance in a City shirt.

It has been a sensational season for the stopper, who continues to write his own chapter in the club’s rich and storied history.

View the pictures from this gallery: Joe Hart 300 up: Image gallery

Now fourth in the all-time list of goalkeeper appearances for City behind Joe Corrigan, Bert Trautmann and Frank Swift, Hart is almost halfway to the 603 mark set by Corrigan across 16 years at the club.

However, aged just 28, time is on the youthful keeper’s side as he sets his sights on the next century.

Joe declared: “I'm immensely proud to make 300 appearances for this club.

"I'd like to thank all of you - Willy (Caballero) has been fantastic ever since he walked through the door, Richard Wright as well, the boss and the boys.”

In the form of his life over the last few weeks and months, Hart shone on the European and domestic stage, and was desperately unlucky to finish on the losing side against Barcelona in the Nou Camp.

Saluted by FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi as a ‘phenomenon’, Hart kept the UEFA Champions League last 16 tie alive in the dying minutes of the first leg at the Etihad Stadium with his penalty save from the Barcelona frontman and then went on to defy all logic with his performance in Catalunya.

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A string of ten super saves left Barcelona’s attacking trio of Luis Suarez and Neymar, plus the celebrated Messi, frustrated time and again as they found the route to goal blocked by the hands, legs, and torso of the boy from Shrewsbury.

More recently, his incredible stop from Federico Fernandez in the victory over Swansea in the season’s penultimate outing left spectators gasping, while it also sparked debate among pundits and fans across the continent over where exactly the moment ranked in the list of greatest ever Premier League saves.

Time and again this season Joe was the difference, converting potential losses into draws, and draws into victories, and leaving the keeper with an extensive highlights reel that made picking his top ten stops an all-consuming task.

Signed from Shrewsbury in 2006, the England international earned his goalkeeping stripes with loans to Tranmere Rovers and Blackpool before commanding attention across the country with his season-long spell at Birmingham in 2009-10.

Voted the club’s Player of the Year, he also won a coveted spot in the PFA Team of the Season, convincing then City boss Roberto Mancini he was ready for the bright lights of the Etihad Stadium.

A Man of the Match display in his first game back in Manchester went some way to justifying the decision, and Hart won the first of his quadruple of Golden Glove gongs the very same season.

It is no coincidence Hart’s arrival as the first choice guardian of City’s net coincided with the start of one of the most successful periods in the club’s history.

Back at City for the 2010/11 season, Joe helped City end a 38 year trophy drought with the FA Cup in 2011 and his saves proved crucial in securing a first title in 44 years the following term. 

Hart added a second Premier League medal to his ever-growing collection in 2014 and has potentially another decade ahead at the highest level.

Here’s to the next 300 in City blue!

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Joe Hart 300 up: Image gallery

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