Saturday 16 December 2017

Harte to hang up his boots after 20-year career

Ian Harte released by Bournemouth
Ian Harte released by Bournemouth
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Ian Harte has announced his retirement from professional football just a few days shy of his 38th birthday.

The Drogheda native had been considering his options this summer after parting company with Bournemouth and he's made the decision to call it quits.

Harte made nine appearances for Eddie Howe's charges during their successful promotion campaign, with his final outing coming in the FA Cup defeat to Aston Villa in January.

"I've had a few offers from different clubs but I'd rather go out on a high after playing for over 20 years," said Harte.

The talented left-back made his name at Leeds where he broke into the first team set-up as a teenager in the 1995/96 campaign to line up alongside his uncle Gary Kelly. His set-piece prowess and eye for goal built his reputation and Mick McCarthy quickly installed him as a regular in the Irish side, with Harte winning the majority of his 63 caps under his stewardship.

He left Leeds in 2004 and headed for Spain and Levante where a mixed spell was followed by brief stints at Sunderland and Blackpool. But he bounced back at Carlisle to earn a move to Reading and help them back to the Premier League In total, he made 237 top-flight appearances, scoring 28 goals.

Harte will now concentrate on his restaurant business.

Irish Independent

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