Shropshire Star

How ‘normal kid’ Joe was moulded into Salop legend

Joe Hart is one of the greatest footballers Shropshire has ever produced – but he was once ‘the most normal kid’.

Jamie Tolley and Joe Hart sign autographs

The Shrewsbury-born goalkeeper is set to call time on a staggering career which has seen him win all the major domestic trophies in England and Scotland – Kenny Daglish and Andrei Kanchelskis are the only other men to achieve that feat.

The keeper will retire after his Celtic side take on Rangers in the Scottish Cup final this afternoon giving Hart one more chance to add to the 11 trophies he has previously won during his 20-year playing career – which also included 75 caps for England.

That journey started at Shrewsbury Town in April 2004 and Jamie Tolley, a player at Salop at the time, who went on to live with Hart for five years when he moved to Manchester City, said he had ‘presence and a confidence’.

“He was just the most normal kid in the world to be honest,” Tolley said. “When he first broke into the team and started training with us, we knew his background and that he was very good at cricket.

“We knew he had a cricket route that he could have gone down, but he favoured football, and everyone is glad that he did.