Hughes (top) lining up for Northern Ireland in 2012
|Full name||Aaron William Hughes|
|Date of birth||8 November 1979|
|Place of birth||Cookstown, Northern Ireland|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Brighton & Hove Albion|
|2014||Queens Park Rangers||11||(0)|
|2014–||Brighton & Hove Albion||4||(0)|
|Northern Ireland U16||2||(0)|
|Northern Ireland U18||5||(1)|
|1997–1998||Northern Ireland B||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:10, 26 August 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Aaron William Hughes (born 8 November 1979) is a Northern Irish professional footballer who plays for English club Brighton & Hove Albion and the Northern Ireland national team as a defender. Hughes plays mainly at centre back, but can also be used at right back or left back, as well as anywhere in midfield. He is renowned for his disciplined defending, having made over 450 Premier League appearances without getting sent off, which is the second-most in the history of the league, behind only Ryan Giggs.
Hughes began his career with Newcastle United, making his debut in 1997 and remaining with the club until 2005, when he was transferred to Aston Villa for £1 million. Two years later he was signed by his former international manager Lawrie Sanchez to play for Fulham, where he remained until 2014 and reached the UEFA Europa League final in 2010. Following a brief spell at Queens Park Rangers he joined Brighton in the summer of 2014.
He made his full international debut aged 18 in 1999 and has since earned 92 caps for Northern Ireland, the third most in the nation's history. Hughes captained the national team from 2003 up to international retirement in 2011, but returned to the team the following year.
Born in Cookstown, County Tyrone, Hughes came through the ranks at Newcastle United. He made his first team debut in the Camp Nou in a match between Newcastle and Barcelona on 26 November 1997, replacing Philippe Albert at half-time in a 1–0 UEFA Champions League defeat. His league debut came against Sheffield Wednesday on 10 January 1998, playing the entirety of a 2–1 defeat at Hillsborough. His first team appearances after this were few and far between, yet he had established himself in the team by the 1999–2000 season. During his time on Tyneside, Hughes appeared 279 times for the Magpies in all competitions and scored seven goals. He held the record as the Magpies' youngest debutant in European competition until it was broken by Andy Carroll in November 2006.
Hughes was awarded the number 18 shirt by Ruud Gullit at the start of the 1999–2000 season while at Newcastle. Since then he has never worn another number at club level. Even at international level he has worn the number since 2002.
On 27 June 2007, Hughes was announced as a new signing for Premier League side Fulham. He was quoted as saying "I’m delighted to be joining Fulham and am looking forward to working with Lawrie Sanchez at club level. I enjoyed my time at Aston Villa but when this opportunity presented itself I had no hesitation in coming to discuss the Manager’s ambitions for the Club, which obviously were of great interest to me. I’m happy to have signed before the start of pre-season, which gives me the opportunity of being with the lads on day one, when we come back to training next week." He took the captain's armband in the absence of Brian McBride and latterly, Danny Murphy. On 4 December 2009, Hughes signed a new deal with the club which would see him remain at Craven Cottage until the summer of 2013.
He scored his first goal for Fulham on 26 December 2010, heading a Simon Davies cross to open a 1–3 defeat to West Ham United at Craven Cottage. His second goal came against Dnipro in the Europa League on 18 August 2011, set up by Matthew Briggs for the first goal of a 3–0 victory.
On 14 September 2012, Hughes signed a one-year contract extension with Fulham, keeping him at the club until 2014. He scored his third goal for Fulham, in his third different competition, against Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup on 26 January 2013, heading Giorgos Karagounis' cross at the end of a 4–1 defeat at Old Trafford.
Queens Park Rangers
After 17 appearances for Fulham earlier in the season, on 31 January 2014, Hughes joined Queens Park Rangers of the Championship on a free transfer. Manager Harry Redknapp signed him on a short-term deal until the end of the season, saying that Hughes would be useful in a defence suffering from injuries, while the player himself refuted suggestion that he was taking a step down in his career. Redknapp had previously tried to sign Hughes from Newcastle to West Ham United.
He started on the bench a day later when the side drew 3-3 against Burnley, and made his debut on 10 February when they lost 1-0 to Derby. On 24 May, Hughes was an unused substitute as QPR earned promotion to the Premier League with a 1–0 victory over Derby County in the play-off final at Wembley. On 1 July 2014, he was among seven players released by QPR following the expiration of their contracts.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Hughes made his debut for Northern Ireland on 25 March 1998, against Slovakia. He first captained his country on 17 April 2002, against Spain in Belfast. He was the regular captain from 2003 until his retirement in 2011, leading the team in notable wins over England, Spain and Sweden. With Hughes injured, Fulham teammate Chris Baird was given the honour of captaining Northern Ireland for Nigel Worthington's first games as manager.
Hughes scored his first and only international goal, thirteen and a half years and 77 caps after his debut, against the Faroe Islands on 10 August 2011, opening a 4–0 win in qualification for UEFA Euro 2012. He announced his retirement from international football in September 2011; injury meant that he could not play in the final Euro 2012 qualifying matches, so he retired after 79 caps. On 19 February 2012, Hughes announced his return to international football, and ten days later played in Michael O'Neill's first match as manager, a 3–0 home friendly defeat to Norway.
- Scores and results list Northern Ireland's goal tally first
|1||10 August 2011||Windsor Park, Belfast||Faroe Islands||1–0||4–0||Euro 2012 qualifying|
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|1996–97||Newcastle United||Premier League||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Newcastle United Total||205||4||19||1||10||0||44||2||278||7|
|2005–06||Aston Villa||Premier League||35||0||4||0||2||0||0||0||41||0|
|Aston Villa Total||54||0||5||0||5||0||0||0||64||0|
|2013–14||Queens Park Rangers||Championship||11||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||11||0|
|Queens Park Rangers Total||11||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||11||0|
|2014–15||Brighton & Hove Albion||Championship||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||0|
|Brighton & Hove Albion Total||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||0|
- As of 20:11, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
2011–12 appearances includes match in Europa League, away to Dnipro on 25 August 2011, which is currently not included on Soccerbase website.
|Northern Ireland national team|
- As of 21 October 2014 (up to and including match vs Greece).
- "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- "Records on the cards". Skysports.com.
- "List of players with the most appearances in the Premier League". Premier League. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- "Confirmation Hughes has still never been sent off". ESPN FC. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- "Hughes completes switch to Villa". BBC News. 20 May 2005.
- "NI skipper Hughes in Fulham move". BBC News. 27 June 2007.
- "Hughes signs". Fulham Official Website. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
- "Hughes signs new deal". Fulham Official Website. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
- "Fulham 1 – 3 West Ham". BBC. 26 December 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- "Fulham 3 – 0 Dnipro". BBC. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- "Aaron's Extension". Fulham FC. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- "Man Utd 4 – 1 Fulham". BBC. 26 January 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- "Queens Park Rangers sign Aaron Hughes from Fulham on short-term deal" (Evening Standard). 31 January 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- Fletcher, Paul (24 May 2014). "Derby 0-1 QPR". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "QPR: Andrew Johnson and Aaron Hughes head summer clear-out". BBC Sport. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "Aaron Hughes: Brighton sign experienced defender". British Broadcasting Corporation. 14 July 2014.
- "NI skipper Aaron Hughes retires from international duty". BBC Sport (BBC). 24 September 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- "Aaron Hughes ruled out of Northern Ireland qualifiers". BBC Sport (BBC). 3 October 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- "Hughes Announcement". Fulham FC. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- Jackson, Lyle (29 February 2012). "Northern Ireland 0-3 Norway". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "Aaron Hughes Career Stats". Soccerbase. 28 December 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- Aaron Hughes at National-Football-Teams.com
- Posted by jcd (19 January 2014). "NIFG: Aaron Hughes". Nifootball.blogspot.co.uk.
- "Aaron Hughes". Irishfa.com.
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