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Hartson retires from international duty

7 February 2006 09:07

GLASGOW, Feb 7 (SW) – Celtic striker John Hartson has confirmed his retirement from international football with Wales.

The player is one of the most popular amongst Welsh supporters for his all-round attitude and commitment to the national cause and his loss is sure to be a blow for manager John Toshack.

"It is a sad day for me because I have loved playing for my country and representing the Welsh people for a number of years," said Hartson.

"I always feel enormous pride whenever I put on a Wales shirt and will always cherish the memories of my time with the national team," said Hartson.

"I would like to thank all the managers, coaches, staff and players who have helped me during my time in the Wales team, but above all I would like to thank the Welsh people for all their support and encouragement.

"It would have been fantastic to reward them with a place at a major tournament but sadly it just wasn't to be.

"However, I would love to think that in the near future the side will go on to achieve some significant success.

"Now I have made this decision I will be concentrating my efforts 100% on doing the best I can for Celtic Football Club and hopefully this decision will allow me to really enjoy the final few years of my career.

"Finally, I would like to wish John Toshack and the Wales squad the very best of luck in qualifying for the 2008 European Championships."

Hartson retires having scored 14 goals for the national side in 50 appearances.

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