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Finn Harps player retires after losing finger in freak accident

Kevin McHugh was originally planning to hang up his boots at the end of the season.

FINN HARPS PLAYER Kevin McHugh has been forced to retire earlier than planned after losing a finger.

The accident occurred when McHugh got his wedding ring caught in a fence that he was in the process of jumping over during a coaching session in Donegal.

An operation at Galway University Hospital could not prevent the footballer’s finger from being saved.

“It’s not the way I had planned to say goodbye, but that’s the way it is,” he said, in an interview with the BBC.

The 36-year-old was planning to retire at the end of the season anyway, but the freak accident means he will miss the Airtricity League Premier Division club’s final three matches of the campaign.

Of the accident, the ex-Derry City player added: “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.

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.

“I had to hop back over the fence and bring BJ round because I needed them to coach the kids.”

McHugh still managed to drive himself to the hospital during the ordeal.

“My first thought was that I couldn’t let my own kids see my hand like this, so I knew I had to get to the car and get to the hospital quick.

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.

“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?”

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Paul Fennessy

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