Former Brighton defender retires from football

Aaron Hughes in action for Brighton against Birmingham. Picture by Getty Images
Aaron Hughes in action for Brighton against Birmingham. Picture by Getty Images

Former Brighton & Hove Albion, Fulham, Aston Villa and Newcastle defender Aaron Hughes has retired from football.

The 39-year-old announced his decision after Northern Ireland's 1-0 Euro 2020 qualifier win against Belarus last night.

Hughes was with Brighton during the 2014/15 season under Sami Hyypia and then Chris Hughton but played just 13 times in all competitions as Gordon Greer and Lewis Dunk were the regulars in central defence.

He began his career at Newcastle in 1996 and then played for Aston Villa, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers before his spell at the Amex. After leaving Brighton, Hughes played for Melbourne City and then Hearts.

Hughes won 48 of his 112 caps for Northern Ireland as captain and current skipper Steven Davis revealed Hughes had retired after the win over Belarus.

Speaking to BBC, Davis said: "Aaron spoke to us after the game and he was a little bit emotional, which is understandable.

"He has been a huge player for us over many years, such a consistent performer, and he will be remembered as a proper legend.

"Aaron still looks as if he could play on for a couple more years, but if he has made a decision to retire, we've got to respect that and wish him well."

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