Footballer finger loss retirement

Footballer finger loss retirement
17 September 2014; Kevin McHugh, right, Finn Harps, celebrates with Keith Cowan after scoring his side’s third goal. FAI Ford Cup Quarter-Final Replay, Finn Harps v Avondale United. Finn Park, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

An Irish footballer was forced to retire after he lost his finger during a youth coaching session in Co. Donegal.

Kevin McHugh, who played for Finn Harps in the top tier of the League of Ireland, suffered the injury when he jumped over a fence and his wedding ring got caught.

“Once my two feet landed on the ground it felt like there was a tug on the ring, I looked down at my hand and I saw there was no finger there,” he said.

“I looked at my club mates, Dessie McGlinchy and BJ Banda, and they were sheet white and in shock, so I knew it was bad.”

Mr McHugh drove himself to the hospital without the missing finger when he remembered that he would require it if doctors were to reattach it.

“When I was in the car, I had to make a phone call to Mel, the other coach, because I realised I hadn’t got the finger with me and I needed it for hospital,” he said.

“I phoned him and said: ‘Could you go back up and get my finger on top of the fence?’ and he said: ‘Are you serious?’”

Doctors at Galway tried to reattach the finger but they were ultimately unsuccessful.

Mr McHugh explained how the damage caused by the ring had rendered the rescue mission impossible and he expressed his obvious disappointment at having lost a finger.

“I don’t think I could run now at this stage, so yes, my season is completely over,” he told the BBC.

“It’s not the way I had planned to say goodbye, but that’s the way it is.”

The 36-year-old had intended to call time on his football career – which had seen him play for Derry City and Linfield as well as Finn Harps – at the end of the season.


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