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Celtic hero Charlie Mulgrew announces his retirement from football

Former Celtic and Scotland star Charlie Mulgrew has announced his retirement from playing professional football.

The 37-year-old spent his final stint as a player at Dundee United, where he chalked up 50 appearances since joining the Scottish Championship side in 2021. Prior to that, Mulgrew made club history during his time at Blackburn Rovers after scoring the only goal of the game at Doncaster Rovers in April 2018, clinching the club’s promotion back to the EFL Championship. The goal was his 14th of the season, which set a new club record for a defender.

Mulgrew’s early playing career began with Glasgow giants Celtic, whose academy system he progressed through alongside fellow Football Careers client Aiden McGeady. He was part of the Celtic youth team that won the Scottish Youth Cup in the 2004—05 season, following a 2—0 victory against St Mirren.

After an initial spell at Celtic in 2005—06, Mulgrew went on to play for Dundee United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southend United, and Aberdeen. In 2010, the former defender rejoined the Bhoys on a three-year contract, becoming then-manager Neil Lennon’s first signing. 

In the six years that followed, Mulgrew became a key fixture in Celtic’s defence, forging an impressive and impactful legacy at the club. 

He scored the final goal of Celtic’s 3–0 win over Motherwell in 2011’s Scottish Cup Final, and landed two goals and two assists in the Glasgow side’s 2012 Scottish Premier League title-winning match against Kilmarnock. 

Later in 2012 as Celtic took on Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League, Mulgrew’s stunning set-piece delivery gave Victor Wanyama the opportunity to head home the opener in a game lauded by Neil Lennon as “one of the greatest nights in the club’s recent history.”

Internationally, Mulgrew has represented Scotland at all levels, making 44 appearances and scoring three goals after receiving his first call-up to the senior squad from manager Craig Levein in 2012. In 2018, he was made captain of the national team following Scott Brown’s retirement from international football.

In an Instagram post, Mulgrew commented:

“Firstly I’d like to thank my family and friends for all your support, belief, loyalty and love you have given me over the last 21 years. You all had to make sacrifices along with me to follow my dream.

“Thank you to all eight clubs I played for, the Scotland national team I played 44 times for, I’m grateful for all that I’ve learned and the life I’ve been able to create because of them. My memories are priceless.

“I’ve played with and against some great players some of whom I’m lucky to call friends. I’ve been part of some great changing rooms which has made me realise it is essential for success.

“Football is nothing without fans and I’m grateful for the experiences and support you gave me through the highs and the lows.

“I am excited for what tomorrow brings, to new beginnings.”

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