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Hughes denied N Ireland send-off

Retiring Northern Ireland captain Aaron Hughes has been denied the chance to make a farewell appearance after a groin injury forced him out of the final two Euro 2012 qualifiers against Estonia and Italy.

The defender recently announced his decision to quit international football when the current European campaign concludes and an untimely injury has today brought about a premature end to his Northern Ireland career.

The 31-year-old had hoped to lead the side out for the final time at Windsor Park against Estonia on Friday before making his last appearance against Italy four days later but instead finishes up with 79 caps, having made his debut in 1998.

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