Born: Cookstown, Northern Ireland, 8 November 1979

Position: Full back/centre back

International caps: 112

International goals: 1

Signed: 27 June 2007 from Aston Villa (£1m)

Fulham debut: Wigan Athletic 1-1 Fulham, 15 September 2007

Fulham appearances: 249

Fulham goals: 3

Honours: UEFA Europa League runners-up (2009-2010).

Sold: 31 January 2014 to Queens Park Rangers (£250,000).

The £1m Fulham paid Aston Villa for the services of Aaron Hughes in June 2007 might rank as the shrewdest bit of spending of the Lawrie Sanchez era. The wags would suggest that there isn’t much competition for such an accolade but Hughes’ impact on the Fulham defence and his longevity are well worth celebrating. The Northern Ireland centre back forged such a fine partnership with Brede Hangeland that the pair were described as the new Thames barrier. The Cookstown-born defender wasn’t blessed with outstanding physical attributes but his reading of the campaign was exceptional, he won much more than his fair share in the air and never dived into a tackle. His nerveless displays were a key ingredient in Fulham’s rise from relegation certainties to European finalists and it was a great shame that the swiftness of his exit – to Queens Park Rangers on transfer deadline day – robbed the Fulham faithful of a chance to say farewell to one of the club’s great servants.