When it comes to footballing passion, Aaron Hughes believes that Edinburgh and Newcastle are very similar places.
The former Newcastle United defender says it is great to play for clubs in cities where football is ‘their life, that is what they love’.
One of Graeme Souness’ many disastrous transfer decisions, 25 year old Aaron Hughes was allowed to leave for a pittance (a reported £2m), whilst at the same time Souness oversaw the recruitment of Luque , Boumsong and Owen for a combined cost of almost £40m.
Whilst those three hardly lifted a leg for Newcastle, Aaron Hughes went on to be one of the highest appearance holders in the Premier League, playing over 450 top tier games for Newcastle, Villa and Fulham.
Joining Hearts and former Newcastle coach Ian Cathro mid-season, Hughes has just been awarded a new one year contract despite turning 38 this coming November, a great tribute to his professionalism and fitness levels.
Returning from a calf injury, Aaron Hughes hopes to be involved on Sunday when Hearts take on Aberdeen.
“Newcastle is a good example to compare Edinburgh to.
“It’s a city where the people are just so passionate about their football.
“That’s a great thing because you know you are playing for a team with a fanbase that cares – they are not just turning up to sit and watch.
“You speak to people and they want to talk about football, it’s their life, that is what they love.
“The atmosphere at times means the fans can get a bit frustrated but I have found the atmosphere to be good.
“You appreciate the fact they are going to voice their opinions, good or bad, and you’d rather play in situations like that, than play for a crowd that doesn’t care.
“I see that from both sides of the city.
“When you have two teams in the city and there’s a rivalry there which is great too, both sides are so passionate about their team and you want to be involved in those occasions and rivalries.
“I just enjoy playing my football here.”