Aaron Hughes is a product of the Newcastle United youth ranks. A Northern Ireland international at the age of 18, Aaron cemented a regular place in the national side while still fighting for a place with the Magpies
But after his 34 appearances in 2000-01, Hughes claimed a place in the team after the arrival of Sir Bobby Robson. Hughes, at some times last season, looked to be the rock in the Newcastle defence, when it went out of shape.
Hughes came to St James' Park as a teenager in 1995, and he made his first-team debut at, of all places, the Nou Camp, Barcelona in the 1997-98 Champions League campaign, then took his cup competition bows before finally making his league debut at Sheffield Wednesday in January 1998.
Aaron developed principally as a centre-half, but has frequently filled the full-back role, and plays left back for Northern Ireland, and looks comfortable in all three roles. Last season, he played as a more right back than centre defence, and has also popped up in the opposition penalty box and hit the back of the net 4 times for the Toon.
Hughes has also captained his country on the one occasion against Spain in April 2002, and signed a new deal at the club, keeping him at United until 2006-07. After another solid season last season, Hughes looks like he can become on of the best graduates from the Newcastle Acadamy in years.