Aberdeen captain Paul Hartley has quit the game at the age of 34, due to injury. The Pittodrie side have mutually terminated his contract, which had one year left to run.
Hartley’s last game for the Dons was the Scottish Cup win over St.Mirren in March, but his season came to an end when he suffered medial ligament damage in a tackle.
The former Scotland international is now looking towards working as a coach, and has alread been working towards his badges at Largs.
After starting out at Hamilton and spells with Raith Rovers, Millwall, Hibs and St. Johnstone. Hartley made a name for his himself with Hearts where he helped the club to win the Scottish Cup Final and split the Old Firm in 2006.
His performances with the Tynecastle side earned him a move to Celtic where he won two league titles, a Scottish Cup and a League Cup. As well as playing in the Champions League. After one year at Bristol City, he returned to Scotland as Mark McGhee tempted him to the Granite City and was made Club Captain.
At International level, Hartley picked up 25 caps with his last being in the friendly win over the Czech Republic.
A Club spokesperson commented: “Everyone at Pittodrie would like to thank Paul for his contribution over the past season, which has been excellent, and we wish him all the very best for the future.”
And Hartley said of his retirement: ”I feel the time is right to stop being a footballer. My body just doesn’t have the energy or power as it used to. ‘I didn’t want to reach a stage where I might embarrass myself on the pitch. I’ve too much professional pride. It would also have been unfair on my team-mates and Aberdeen supporters.”