Against admittedly stiff opposition, Aaron Hughes still represents one of the biggest blunders made by Graeme Souness, in his short but very destructive time at St James Park.

Whilst at Newcastle, Souness quickly cleared out fan favourites such as Craig Bellamy, Aaron Hughes, Laurent Robert and Aaron Hughes as he dismantled Sir Bobby Robson’s team.

In their place he treated us to the likes of Celestine Babayaro, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Albert Luque, Michael Owen, Emre and Amdy Faye.

By the age of 25, Aaron Hughes had already played almost 300 matches for Newcastle, including 44 in Europe, when Souness pushed him out of the door to Aston Villa for only £2m.

A player who could play centre-back, defensive midfield and either side as full-back, it is frightening to think how much money was wasted in trying and failing to bring in replacements over the years.

After a great club career and accumulating the second highest ever number of  international caps for Northern Ireland, Aaron Hughes is now heading down under.

Following in the footsteps of Damien Duff, Harry Kewell and David Villa, the now 35 year old Hughes has signed for Melbourne City.

Melbourne City Manager John van’t Schip:

“He brings with him a vast amount of Premier League and international experience which will be of great benefit to the team and his qualities will greatly strengthen our defence.”

Aaron Hughes:

“I played a few years with Damien Duff (Fulham) and he spoke highly of not just the club but the people as well and said the whole experience was fantastic.

“I just want to come in here and have a good season, be solid and contribute what I can to the team. Hopefully we can improve and go even further this year.”

For younger Newcastle fans, you could probably compare Aaron Hughes to James Perch in a way, as a steady no frills player who just got on with the job, though Hughes was several steps higher in terms of ability than Perch.

Good luck to Aaron on his new career step, a player who will be fondly remembered for his days at Newcastle.

One claim to fame is that on Sir Bobby Robson’s home debut as manager, it was actually Aaron Hughes that opened the scoring before Alan Shearer added five more – United running out 8-0 winners on that memorable day.

  • BearNUFC

    It was that destructive he got rid of Aaron Hughes twice!!

  • DonDickson

    A real fans favourite we all new he was limited but he always gave his all for the club and fans

  • StevePassmoor

    We’d probably be more supportive of the nuggets we have playing for us now if they showed the passion, bottle and fight Hughes did

  • philk4

    Always gave his all yes – but since when was he a “good player” ????

  • Gallowgate82

    David Villa plays for New York City not Melbourne and I didn’t realise we had 2 Aaron Hughes and Souness got rid of both …jeezus

  • 1957

    Souness is the perfect example of what went wrong at NUFC under Shepherd.
    Our esteemed Chairman became disenchanted with Sir Bob after he got us a 5th place finish despite having limited backing in the transfer market that season.. Souness was then backed to the hilt in bringing in the players mentioned, it was a disastrous spell that we have never really recovered from.
    Aaron was a honest professional who had a long career at a high level, maybe never top quality but he never gave less than 100%

  • AndrewCowley1

    He was decent but hardly a player that couldn’t be replaced.hd was a decent squad player in a perfect world.always gave his all though.

  • South Aussie Toon

    David Villa did play at Melbourne City before moving to New York City.

  • Paul Patterson

    If you look at who we brought in after Aaron left, it really shows up the deal for what it was back then.

    Hughes could play right across the back four, but was probably best off at right back. So let’s look at the stnd t evidence.

    Stephen Carr – A £3m player who was finished a couple of years before we signed him.
    Celestine Babayaro – See above.
    Ronny Johnson – Free, but see above.
    John Alain Boumsong – One of the worst centre backs we’ve ever bought at £8m.
    David Rozenhal – £3m centre back unsuited to the Premier league.
    Cacapa – Free, but see above.

    Only Coloccini, Enrique, Janmaat and Debuchy could really be classed as an improvement on Hughes and they all cost considerable amounts to bring in.

    The fee received for Hughes- £1m. Tragic.

  • fireflyuk

    Souness was crook, some very dodgy financial deals under him.

  • fireflyuk

    Dogleash was just as bad, looking after his old mates, God knows how much money was laundered out of the club with the signings; Rush, Barnes, Pearce.

  • wor monga

    I don’t think he got rid of Hughes twice like you have said,
    but look…enough said about Sourness the better…he was never either a motivator,
    a football coach…or anything remotely like a football strategist…so why not ask
    yourself…why did ‘numbnuts’ Shepherd have to spend so much of the club’s money just
    to bring him here?

    …He was brought to clean out the bad apple(s) (,
    but along with them he decided that Hughes who was a model professional should
    be ‘criminally’ disposed of…he also pointed out James Milner (model professional)
    to the world, as not having the proper maturity to ever be a senior PL player !!

    …Sourness has always lived a very good life on the strength
    of being a player that Liverpool coaches, (who were all of the above) moulded
    into a very effective defensive stalwart…in a very well organised football
    machine…but in truth he is no more or less than the proverbial talking head,
    and that’s a fact!!

  • alreet

    Dismantling the robson team was the worst thing he could have done if he had added about 3 more to that team we could have bounced back into europe.
    Souness probably spent the most wasted funds of any manager. With owen luque and boumsong among the mess.