Saturday night’s testimonial dinner dance in Letterkenny Radisson Hotel brought the curtain down on what’s been a year to remember for Finn Harps captain, Kevin McHugh.
The popular striker was joined by family members, friends, team-mates and well-wishers for what was a hugely enjoyable night of celebration.
The dinner dance followed Friday night’s match at Finn Park where Kevin’s Finn Harps select side took on a Donegal GAA select. The contribution by Donegal manager, Jim McGuinness to the weekend was mentioned by Kevin in his speech on Saturday night and he said the events would simply not have taken place without Jim.
Kevin chose to donate the funds raised on Saturday night to the Donegal Living Links charity and signed jerseys donated by Everton’s Seamus Coleman and Celtic’s Paddy McCourt (a former team-mate of Kevin’s at Derry City) were among the prizes in a draw.
Among those to pay tribute to the Killea man was his current boss, Peter Hutton who described Kevin as a “Harps legend” who will always have a special place in the hearts of Harps’ supporters.
He said Kevin remains a very important part of his first team squad and while he continues to break all sorts of goal-scoring records, he’s confident the player can deliver another good season in the 2013 campaign.
Ritchie Kelly, who was among a strong representation from Killea FC, recalled watching Kevin as a young player growing up in the border town. He said even at a young age, Kevin was showing signs that he had the talent to make it at senior level. Ritchie also spoke of Kevin’s time at Derry City during which he played an important part in the club’s wonderful run in the UEFA Cup when they were eventually knocked out by Paris St. Germain.
It was Stephen Kenny who managed to sign Kevin from Finn Harps when he was in charge of Derry and the newly appointed Dundalk boss was among the large crowd in attendance on Saturday night. Tom Mohan, the manager of the Republic of Ireland U-17 side and another former Harps favourite, was also present.
The night also saw the presentation of player of the year awards with Shaun McGowan named the Players’ Player of the Year and Ciaran Coll winning the Players’ Young Player of the Year award and the Supporters’ Player of the Year award.
Perhaps fittingly, it was the man himself, Kevin McHugh, who picked up the Supporters’ Player of the Year Award.