Going places

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Leeds United legend brings 20-year career to end

first_imgFormer Leeds and Republic of Ireland star Ian Harte has announced his retirement from professional football.The 37-year-old had numerous offers to continue his career after leaving Bournemouth earlier this summer, but he told talkSPORT on Thursday morning that helping the Cherries reach the Premier League is the perfect way to go out. “After playing for over 20 years it is time to hang up the boots and retire,” said Harte, who won 63 caps for Ireland.“I’ve had offers from a few clubs in the Championship and League One but I thought I would rather go out on a high.”Harte began his career with Leeds United and, after making his debut in 1996, the goalscoring full-back quickly became a fans’ favourite.He went on to make more than 200 appearances for the club in the Premier League over eight years and helped them reach the Champions League.He left Elland Road in 2004 for Levante, spending three years in Spain, before brief spells with Sunderland and Blackpool back in England.After reigniting his career with Carlisle in League One, the Irishman earned a move to Championship side Reading in 2010 and helped the Royals return to the top-flight.He left the Madejski Stadium in 2013 following their relegation from the Premier League and was snapped up by then-Championship newcomers Bournemouth.He went on to become a firm favourite for the Cherries and played a key role in their Championship title-winning campaign last season before being released in the summer.Having decided to call it quits, Harte will now focus on expanding his La Sala restaurant business, having decided not to embark on a coaching career.He added on talkSPORT: “Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall were there [at Bournemouth’s training ground] around about 7 o’clock every morning and left about 6 in the evening.  “I have got a young family and want to watch them grow up.”last_img read more