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Forest Green sign Port Vale striker Lee Hughes

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 03, 2014

By Peter Orchard

LeeHughes2

Lee Hughes

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Forest Green have pulled off one of the most high-profile signings in their history, snapping up Lee Hughes from Port Vale on an 18-month deal.

Veteran former West Bromwich Albion poacher Hughes has been released by Vale after netting 14 goals in their promotion campaign from League Two last season.

The 37-year-old began his career in the Conference with Kidderminster Harriers, netting 70 times in 139 matches to seal a dream move to his boyhood club West Brom.

He was a roaring success, finishing as the Baggies’ leading marksman for four seasons running and top scorer in the top four English divisions in 1998/99.

He was sold to Coventry City for £5 million in August 2001 but returned to The Hawthorns for half that figure a year later.

Hughes has since turned out for Oldham Athletic, Blackpool and Notts County, scoring the winner for the latter against Rovers in the FA Cup third round in January 2010.

Port Vale boss Micky Adams said: “We had a chat and Lee wants regular first-team football.

“Obviously with the emergence of Jordan Hugill we don’t want to block that avenue to him.

“The thing is he wants to play regular football and I can’t give him a regular place so he is joining Forest Green Rovers on an 18-month deal, which he is happy with.

“We wish him well and we thank him for his contribution since he has been here, not least of all his goals in the promotion winning season and certainly the big highlight for me was his three goals against Burton.

“He is a fantastic kid, he’s not what the perception of him is. He has been terrific and I wish him well. I have got great things to say about him.”

In August 2004 Hughes was sentenced to six years imprisonment for causing death by dangerous driving following a fatal crash on 23 November 2003.

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