Mens Team

Joe Hart joins Burnley

Joe Hart joins Burnley
Joe Hart has signed for Burnley on a permanent deal, bringing an end to his remarkable 12-year association with Manchester City.

In total, he played 348 times for the Blues, leaving behind some wonderful memories, and his place in the Blues’ history books is assured having played a huge role in helping the Club become a genuine Premier League force.

Hart told CityTV: "It's been a fantastic experience, I've grown a lot. I came here at 19 and I'm going to leave at 31 so it's been a long time and lot of things have happened - family, friends and a lot of football!

"I certainly feel a lot of love and appreciation. I've always enjoyed the Man City fans, I came here as a Shrewsbury Town player - a kid from Shrewsbury. It was the pinnacle for me to be at this Club before they were challenging for the title, and I was welcomed from day one. I think they saw in me someone who was just going to try his best.

"I wouldn't have been able to do the things I've done if I wasn't embraced or happy - so I'm happy to have given the fans some great memories and hopefully I'll be thought of well."

Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “Joe Hart’s contribution to Manchester City cannot be overstated.  His twelve years at the club has seen him produce some remarkable performances and heart-stopping saves that will live in the memory for a long time to come.

“His passion for and commitment to this club, evidenced by a remarkable tally of 348 appearances, means he will rightly be regarded as a City legend in perpetuity.

“I want to personally thank him for everything he has given to us over very many years and he leaves with Sheikh Mansour’s and my heartfelt best wishes for the next step in his career. He will always be welcome at the Club.”

Hart joined City in 2006 from Shrewsbury for a fee of just £600,000 after catching the eye of then-goalkeeping coach Tim Flowers.

A Shrewsbury lad, he made 58 starts for his hometown club over a three-year period.

He moved to City having already established himself as the England Under-19 No.1 and made his City debut against Sheffield United, aged only 19, keeping a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with the Blades.

READ: Joe Hart's top five City games

WATCH: #ThankYouJoe | CityTV interview

GALLERY: #ThankYouJoe | City career gallery

That same season, he would spend month-long loans with Blackpool and Tranmere, before returning to City to challenge Andreas Isaksson and Kasper Schmeichel for the No.1 jersey at the Etihad.

He won his first full England cap in June 2008 – a 2-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago - and, in the following seasons, established himself as the nation’s No.1.

Skipper Vincent Kompany, who joined City in that summer of 2008, reflected: “Joe joined as a young lad from Shrewsbury and leaves as a City legend.

“When you look at the Club he joined and the Club as it is now, we have come so far during his time in Manchester and Joe has been a huge part of that.

“Those saves against Dortmund and Barcelona, that hug with Gael in 2012, these are moments we won’t ever forget.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to play alongside him for so many years and I know I speak on behalf of every City fan when I say I hope he means as much to his next club as he has meant to us.”

When Shay Given was given the City gloves after signing in early 2009, Hart was loaned to Birmingham City for the 09/10 season. It proved a hugely successful spell, as he was voted the BCFC player of the year as well as winning himself a place in the PFA Team of the Year.

New City manager Roberto Mancini was keen for Hart to return as his No.1 for the 2010/11 campaign – the Italian had taken over the previous December - but the rules of the loan deal meant he couldn’t recall Joe earlier than agreed, even though there was a keeper crisis for the final weeks of the season.

Hart’s eventual return at the start of the 2011/12 season saw him make a stunning goalkeeping display as he single-handedly kept Spurs out at White Hart Lane with a series of breath-taking saves. He remained as City’s No. 1 for the remainder of the campaign, playing a huge role in the Blues securing Champions League qualification for the first time and, of course, winning the FA Cup to end a 35-year wait for silverware.

The following season, Hart was a commanding presence as the Blues landed a first top-flight title for the first time in 44 years – and Joe’s celebration with Gael Clichy at the end of the dramatic 3-2 win over QPR on the final day encapsulated a magical moment for the players and supporters.

A huge crowd favourite, Joe went on to win a second Premier League in 2013/14 under Manuel Pellegrini’s reign and would also win two Capital One Cups in 2014 and 2016.

READ: Joe Hart's City career in numbers

WATCH: #ThankYouJoe | Best moments

He won four Golden Glove awards for most Premier League clean sheets with City and his last official game for the Blues was in 2016 – another clean sheet against Steaua Bucharest in a Champions League qualifying match at the Etihad where, fittingly, he wore the captain’s armband.

Joe then joined Torino on a season-long loan and would spend the 2017/18 campaign on loan with West Ham United.

Capped 75 times by England and with 348 appearances for City, Hart will be remembered as a true Manchester City great, a wonderful professional and a fantastic servant for the Club.

Few will forget his many man-of-the-match displays, but his performances against Spurs in 2011, Borussia Dortmund in 2012 and away at Barcelona in 2015 (when it was almost Lionel Messi versus Joe) almost defied belief.

Everyone at Manchester City wishes Joe the best of luck in the next chapter of his career and he will always be afforded the warmest of welcomes on his return to a Club he will always consider his home.