Carl McHugh

Carl McHughBorn in Lettermacaward, County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland, Carl McHugh began his career in England as a 16 year old with Reading but he was unable to break into the first team fold at the Madejski Stadium as he progressed through the ranks, his only taste of first team football came with a handful of loan spells which seen him play for Swindon Supermarine before a spell with League of Ireland side Dundalk.

After his release from Reading he served Bradford City for two years who were languishing in League Two. Perhaps the biggest highlight of his time at Valley Parade was helping the Bantams to a major upset when they went all the way to the English League Cup Final, his side unfortunately lost 5-0 but they did dispatch an impressive array of clubs along the way as Arsenal, Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa all of whom played in the Premiership were dispatched, McHugh scored in the 1st leg go the Semi Final tie against Villa.

Carl initially started playing as a centre back but he found himself used frequently as a left full back for the Bantams, at his next club Plymouth Argyle his manager was former Steelman Derek Adams who converted him into a defensive midfielder, he also played alongside Peter Hartley and Craig Tanner who would become his future team mates again at Motherwell.

It was Mark McGhee that signed McHugh in July 2016, his transfer was met by an outcry from Plymouth Argyle and Derek Adams who stated that the player stated that he intended to renew his contract with them.

Carl would make his Motherwell debut in a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Rangers in a League Cup group tie. On the opening day of the league season in a match versus Kilmarnock, he went into a 50/50 challenge for an aerial ball which resulted in a serious head injury which caused post concussion syndrome which ruled him out for five months.

Upon his return to first team action he filled in at centre back and played a massive part in helping the side avoid relegation. He exercised the demons somewhat at Rugby Park on his return there by scoring a vital equaliser in a game that Motherwell would go on to win, albeit with Killie missing a penalty in injury time.

Carl’s only other goal for the club that season also came against Kilmarnock which he scored in the opening few minutes as the side sealed a 3-1 win which secured top flight football for another season.

He signed a new contract at the start of the 2017/18 season and was immediately installed as the clubs new captain as veteran midfielder Keith Lasley decided to retire as he was offered the role of assistant manager. McHugh proved to be a natural leader and a robust defender, perhaps the only negative you could attach to him is that he was a tad rash in tackling, in his debut season he was booked nine times, his second season fifteen times with numerous red cards, his effort and commitment to the cause however could never be in question.

McHugh of course captained the side to two domestic cup finals in the same season, a feat which hadn’t been replicated since the early 1950’s. He scored a marvellous winner in the Scottish Cup Quarter Final tie against Hearts in the 86th minute to secure the passage to the Semi Finals, he did however have the pain of missing out due to the accumulation of too many bookings.

At the start of the 2018/19 season he decided to relinquish the captaincy as he felt it had been adversely effecting his duties on the field, Peter Hartley would take over in the role. In May 2019 upon the expiry of his contract, Carl signed for Indian club ATK (previously known as Atlético de Kolkata).

Carl Gerard McHugh
5′ 11″
Date of Birth:
5th February 1993
Place of Birth:

Football Career:

Reading 2011 2012
Swindon Supermarine (Loan) 2011
Dundalk (Loan) 2011
Bradford City 2012 2014
Plymouth Argyle 2014 2016
Motherwell 2016 2019
ATK (previously Atlético de Kolkata) 2019

Well Career:

Apps Goals
72 (10) 3
Scottish Cup:
6 1
League Cup:
16 0
0 0
94 (10) 4