Ex-Newcastle full-back Aaron Hughes retired from football following Northern Ireland’s victory in Belarus last night.

The reliable player announced his decision to the dressing room after the game, Irish captain Steven Davis told BBC Sport.

He 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 [Northern Ireland] over many years, such a consistent performer, and he will be remembered as a proper legend.”

(Photo by Craig Mercer – CameraSport via Getty Images)

39-year-old Hughes made 234 appearances for Newcastle – mostly at full-back – and was never sent off in his time on Tyneside. In fact, he was only booked on six occasions, which is an incredible feat for a defender.

During that time, he scored five goals, and was as dependable a player as anyone could wish to have in their side.

(Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

He originally retired from international football in 2011, but reversed his decision following a request from manager, and another former Toon man, Michael O’Neill.

2019 Newcastle could do with a circa 1996 Aaron Hughes

With full-back being something of a problematic position for Newcastle nowadays, a young Aaron Hughes would have been a perfect solution to that.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

He went on to have spells at Aston Villa, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Brighton, and finally Hearts – where he left at the end of the season.

One of football’s nice guys, we wish him well in his future ventures outside of playing football, and want to thank him for all that he did in a black and white shirt.

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