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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 12:37 GMT
Hartson brings career to an end
John Hartson
Hartson has decided to hang up his boots
Former Celtic and Arsenal striker John Hartson has announced his retirement after leaving West Brom last month.

The 32-year-old, who won 51 caps for Wales, revealed he had lost his desire and was struggling to keep fit.

He told the Scottish Sun: "I'm going to miss that competitive edge. That was my weekend, letting off steam and terrorising centre-halves.

"But I'm not going to miss training though. To be honest I'd lost my desire to get back into the West Brom side."

The striker who began his career at Luton and played at Arsenal, West Ham, Wimbledon, Coventry, Celtic and Norwich, said he was not prepared to end his playing career at a low level.

"They say you should go down the leagues and just play for enjoyment because it will be easier. It is not," Hartson added.

"I have been fighting my weight for 12 years. I can't have a burger without putting on half a stone."


West Brom released Hartson in January - six months before his contract was due to run out.

Hartson joined the Baggies in June 2006 but, despite scoring twice on his debut, he struggled with fitness and form.

He scored six goals in 24 appearances for Albion.

His retirement comes two years and one day since he ended his international career with Wales which saw him score 14 goals in 51 appearances.

Wales assistant coach and former team-mate Dean Saunders paid tribute to Hartson.

"John has been a good player for Wales over the years," said Saunders.

"He's scored a lot of goals at club level and considering he had a lot of injuries during his career, it's always sad to hear someone retiring.

"He's a good friend of mine. I hope the next thing he does is something positive and stays in football.

"It's an end of an era for John, but I'm sure he'll be remembered well by all of the fans."

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