CELTIC goalkeeper Joe Hart has revealed he had been ready to catch James Tavernier’s corner kick when he was shoved in the back by Nicolas Raskin in the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup final today and backed Nick Walsh’s decision to chalk off Rangers’ goal.

Former England internationalist Hart brought the curtain down on his long and trophy-laden playing days this afternoon by helping the Parkhead club to beat their Ibrox rivals 1-0 at Hampden and complete the double.

But Philippe Clement’s side dominated the second-half of their encounter with Brendan Rodgers’ team and it looked as if they had taken the lead when Abdallah Sima netted at a Tavernier set piece.

However, VAR official John Beaton spotted that Hart had been pushed by Raskin before Sima turned the ball over the line and Walsh disallowed the goal after watching a replay on his pitchside monitor. The 75-times capped 37-year-old felt it was the correct decision.

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“Your heart is always in your mouth because I didn’t know who pushed me,” he said. “I felt set for the cross and as soon as I got ready to deal with it someone pushed me. I didn’t think someone in my team would do that. I was confident someone pushed me, it was just whether it was a Celtic or a Rangers player.”

Hart, who announced that he would be hanging up his gloves at the end of the 2023/24 campaign back in February, confessed that he was emotional to be leaving Celtic and admitted that bowing out with a cup win was the perfect send-off.

The Herald: “I’m all drained out,” he said. “I’m just happy that we won. I know it’s the end of my career, but my focus was on this game and it’s so important to the club to keep winning. To double up the title with the Scottish Cup is a special feeling.

“I made the decision to retire earlier in the season because it just felt the right time. Physically it wasn’t a question, but it felt the right time as a family. I’m comfy with it and it’s someone else’s turn.

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“There’s nobody else I’d want to play for on the planet other than this club. When I realised it wasn’t going to be the case in terms of going back home and get on with life, from that point of view it was the right decision.

“I’ve been lucky up here it has paid me back in ways I never thought you could be paid in terms of the love and loyalty this place has shown me. It has really let me into it’s heart and I will be forever grateful. You see the smiles on everyone’s faces when you’re picking up the trophy and it’s great.

“But there’s going to be a moment some point where it will all come crashing down. Know what? I’m just going to sit back and smile and be like ‘what a ride’. I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve had a great career, lots of plots, ups and down, we have stuck together as a family and a group of friends and I’m proud.”

The Herald: