West Ham legend recalls hilarious time Joe Hart ‘beat up’ Declan Rice

Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart ‘beat up’ Declan Rice during his West Ham days, according to ex-Hammers skipper Mark Noble. Hart spent a season on loan with the East London club after being frozen out by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Speaking to the FozCast with Ben Foster, Noble revealed that the former England Internationalist got into a scrap with Rice after the budding youngster tried to wind him up at training.

“Harty will tell you this. We were doing a shooting session, the coach pings it at you, you have a touch and finish.

“Dec must’ve been young, like 19 at the time, and he’s had a touch and he’s got a lovely strike on him.

“He’s whipped one of them past Harty and Harty dived for it and didn’t get there and he went “Harty, one day son.” Harty went ‘Dec, if you say that again I’m going to [beat you up].

18th June 2021 Wembley Stadium, London, England 2021 European Football Championships, England versus Scotland Callum McGregor of Scotland turns away from Declan Rice and Jack Grealish of England  Photo ActionPlusJohnPatrick Fletcher

“It’s come back to Dec and he’s missed one, he’s hit another one and it’s gone in and I said “go on, say it.”

“He went, “one day, Harty” and I swear to you, Harty has just left him, sprinted across the pitch and Dec’s took off down the tunnel, chased him the whole way around the London Stadium, like the whole way through it, got him and beat him up.

“Harty was mad. He is such a tank, he is so strong. I played with him at England for all age groups and he’s a top fella. He’s just mad, they’re all mad.”

The 35-year-old has been excellent since joining from Tottenham Hotspur in 2021, making 88 appearances and becoming central to the team that Ange Postecoglou has built. Like many goalkeepers, he is clearly a big character and an influence within the changing room.

Rice, who is currently touted for an £80m+ move this summer, will surely have had a salutary experience at the hands of Hart. Although, Martin O’Neill will likely enjoy the story of Rice getting a sore one from the goalkeeper.

Joe Hart of Celtic warms up prior to the UEFA Champions League group F match between RB Leipzig and Celtic FC at Red Bull Arena on October 05, 2022 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

In truth, Hart could still be performing in the Premier League week-in, week-out but he is relishing his time in Scotland as he looks to push Celtic towards a Treble this season. A new deal is in the pipeline as Ange looks to reward Hart for immersing himself into the club.

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Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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