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Ex-Premier League and EFL striker to retire aged 44

Ex-Premier League and EFL striker, Lee Hughes, is to retire aged 44, ending a playing career spanning a total of 25 years.

In March 2020, he joined Nuneaton Borough, to help them make a late surge for the Southern League Premier Division Central playoffs.

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However the season was cancelled a month later and now he feels it’s time to hang up his boots, but not without one last hurrah.

With an aim to raise money for the NHS, he is assembling his own All Star XI team and take them on against a West Brom All Stars at Halesowen Town on August the 2nd.

Those to have signed up for the Baggies team are Darryl Burgess, Andy Johnson, Geoff Horsfield and Peter Odemwingie, they will be managed by Gary Megson.

Lining up for Hughes’ team so far are Jimmy Bullard, Lee Sharpe and boxer Frankie Gavin.

Hughes said: “The response so far has been fantastic. I’ve had people ringing up asking to take part. It was always my intention to call it a day at the end of this season. I’ve been fortunate enough to play for a long time but it has taken its toll on my body.

“Coupled with that I have a young son who is just starting out and I want to go and watch him play.

“I’d actually just signed for Nuneaton before the season was stopped due to the coronavirus, so my final match would have been for them. But when it became clear we were not going to be able to play on, I had the idea of organising a one-off match.

“All the proceeds raised will go to the NHS. There are people out there doing a fantastic job at the minute and we need to give them all the support we can.”

Halesowen have allowed the match to go ahead at their stadium for absolutely free.

The ex-Premier League and EFL striker, who is to retire aged 44, said: “It just made sense for me to have this match at Halesowen, were the player was at between March 2018 and August 2019, he briefly took caretaker charge of them towards the end of the 2018-19 season.

“It is in the middle of everything and easy for people to get to. I actually live in the town now and have a number of friends at the club. When I spoke to them about the match, they were happy to let me have the ground free of charge.

“Obviously the match going ahead depends on the situation at the time but hopefully it can and we raise as much money as possible.”

LEE HUGHES’ PLAYING CAREER:

994–1997 – Kidderminster Harriers – 139 (70 goals)
1997–2001 – West Bromwich Albion – 156 (79) goals
2001–2002 – Coventry City – 42 (15 goals)
2002–2004 – West Bromwich Albion – 55 (11 goals)
2007–2009 – Oldham Athletic – 55 (25 goals)
2009 → Blackpool (loan) – 3 (1 goal)
2009–2013 – Notts County – 128 (59 goals)
2013–2014 – Port Vale – 31 (13 goals)
2014–2015 – Forest Green Rovers – 42 (15 goals)
2015 – Kidderminster Harriers – 13 (3 goals)
2015 – Ilkeston
2015–2017 – Worcester City – 48 (28 goals)
2017 – AFC Telford United – 13 (4 goals)
2017–2018 – Worcester City – 13 (10 goals)
2018–2019 – Halesowen Town
2019–2020 – Mickleover Sports
2020 – Grantham Town
2020 – Nuneaton Borough

HIS HONOURS:

KIDDERMINSTER
Conference runner-up: 1996–97

WEST BROM
Football League First Division runner-up: 2003–04

NOTTS COUNTY
EFL League Two: 2009–10

PORT VALE
League Two third-place promotion: 2012–13

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