Aaron Hughes was Fulhamâ€™s captain on Saturday against his old side Newcastle United.
Aaron Hughes - fondly remembers his day at Newcastle
Newcastle had more than 5,000 traveling fans in the Putney End of craven Cottage and they certainly made themselves heard during the game. That also was a reason why Fulham enjoyed their biggest crowd of the season â€“ 24,959.
Hughes â€“ who spent almost a decade at St James’ Park and married a Geordie girl, not surprisingly remembers his time at Newcastle with great affection. No doubt also the Newcastle fans left a big impression on the Cookstown, Northern Ireland born player.
The 6’0″ defender told the Shields Gazette yesterday:
“Away fans bring a lot to grounds, especially Craven Cottage.â€ “That end hasn’t even been half-full for a lot of games, but Newcastle came down and it was no surprise it was full.â€
“It’s how I always remember it being when I was there. You’d go to other stadiums, and they’d always be packed.”
Hughes actually made his Newcastle debut against Barcelona at the Nou Camp in a Champions League fixture in 1996 when he was just 17 years old, and had a terrific game. He was never phased by the opposition and had some great games for Newcastle United in Europe. In fact he hopes Newcastle fans will be once again watching European football next season.
“European football’s great, and because of the size of the club, it’s what everyone looks for.â€ “A club the size of Newcastle should be playing in Europe â€“ it’s where they belong.â€
“But it’s very hard to break into the top four â€“ you would have to have some season to do that. Everyone else is looking for fifth or sixth.”Â Â “It’s the way things are going for us at the moment,” â€œThe first half was scrappy, and we didn’t play particularly well. In the second half we did better, and played more in Newcastle’s half than our own. We had a few crosses and half chances.â€
“They came away with a clean sheet, and that’s important for them as a team away from home. They nicked it at the end.â€ “Every team playing away is planning to do the same. If you can keep a clean sheet, it guarantees you points.â€ “They’ve had two good wins now, and are on a roll. The way the league is, a couple of wins can lift you a few places.”
Hughes played around 205 times for Newcastle and scored 4 goals and played some outstanding games for the club. While he was never of the very highest class, his work-rate and attitude made up for any deficiencies and Aaron very rarely let the side down. We were sorry to see Aaron leave the club in the summer of 2005, when Graeme Souness carted him off to Aston Villa for Â£1M, the same fee Fulham paid for him in the summer. Aaron is great value for that kind of money.
Any memories of Aaron at Newcastle are very welcome. To be honest, he was always one of our favorites at the club, mainly for his consistent performances and terrific attitude, and he was hardly ever injured. Just a great lad.