Aberdeen captain Paul Hartley has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 34.The midfielder, who made 25 appearances for Scotland since debuting in 2005, had a year to run on his contract but has announced that the 2010-11 campaign would be his last.
Hartley made his last appearance for the national squad in their 1-0 win over the Czech Republic last September.
He last took to the field in March during Aberdeen’s 2-1 win over St Mirren in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup, and has been unable to shrug off a medial ligament strain he picked up in that match.
As well as making 32 appearances for Aberdeen, he also represented Hamilton, Raith Rovers, Millwall, Hibernian and St Johnstone but made his name at Hearts, where he played from 2003-2007.
His spell there earned him a 1.1 million pound move to Celtic, where he won two league titles, a Scottish Cup and a league cup.
He now plans to work as a coach, and has been working towards earning the necessary qualifications.