Former Newcastle United defender Aaron Hughes has announced his retirement from professional football, leading to a flurry of Magpies supporters to share their memories of the 39-year-old.
So my professional playing career has finally come to an end and I’m officially retired! Not sure where the time went, but what an incredible journey it’s been. Thank you to everyone who helped and supported me along the way.
I have quite literally lived the dream!
— Aaron Hughes (@AaronHughes18) June 12, 2019
Hughes emerged from the United academy back in 1997 to make his Magpies debut away to FC Barcelona in the Champions League, coming on at half-time to replace Philippe Albert after the La Liga heavyweights had already opened the scoring thanks to a Giovanni goal teed-up by current Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
The future Northern Ireland captain would make another 45-minute appearance in that year’s Champions League Group Stage at home to Dynamo Kyiv, but would have to wait until the following campaign before he would become a mainstay of the United starting XI.
Over the following eight years, Hughes would go on to make a total of 258 appearances for Newcastle, in which he scored six goals, but never found the back of the net against the same side; with winning strikes to his name against TSV 1860 Munich in the 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup and Premier League winners against Everton in 2000 and Southampton in 2002.
He would leave us for Aston Villa in the summer of 2005, though, before going on to join Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Brighton & Hove Albion, Melbourne City, Kerala Blasters, and Heart of Midlothian, where he has decided to call time on his career.
On the international stage, Hughes scored once from his 112-caps for Northern Ireland, and would wear the captain’s armband on two occasions.
Following his decision to retire aged 39, this is how these Newcastle fans reacted…