By Aidan O’Donnell
NOT for the first time in his storied career, Kevin McHugh will find himself at the centre of attention when a Finn Harps All-Stars play a Donegal select in a testimonial with a twist at Finn Park tonight (Friday, 8pm).
The Killea hit-man will be honoured for the incredible services he has given Harps throughout a 15-year playing career that is showing no signs of ending anytime soon.
McHugh first made his debut for the club back in 1998 under then manager Charlie McGeever, who gave the goal-hungry striker his first taste of senior action in a league-cup clash with Fanad United as a 17-year-old.
He has since gone on to make over 300 appearances for the club in two separate spells either side of stints with Derry City and Linfield.
He finished joint-top scorer in the 2012 Airtricity League First Division with 13 goals (14 in all competitions) and is the outright top scorer in the history of the second tier with 118 strikes.
He has accumulated 155 League of Ireland goals (142 for Harps and 13 for Derry) and has a total of 161 goals in all competitions for Harps – 80 behind the club’s leading marksman Brendan Bradley who has 241 to his name.
Should he score seven goals next season he would rocket into the top five in the all-time list of League of Ireland goal-scorers.
His contribution to the club has been priceless but tonight he and his team-mates will face a completely different challenge from what they’re used to.