‘Pirlo signed his shirt for me when he was naked’: Lee Hughes on his favourite Notts County memories

Video: Lee Hughes on how he got Pirlo’s shirt signed when he was naked

Former Meadow Lane front-man Lee Hughes has spoken on Team Talk about his favourite memories while at Notts County.

Hughes played for the Magpies from 2009 and 2013, scoring 59 goals in 128 appearances and was part of the side that earned promotion to League 1 in the 2009/10 season.

He has made 731 club appearances scoring 326 goals in a career spanning three decades and currently plays for Worcester City who play in the Vanarama National League North.

He spoke to Iain Chambers and Charlie McParland on Team Talk about his favourite memories at the Magpies, including his debut, scoring at Juventus and meeting a hero naked…


“I remember when Charlie McParland phoned me in 2009 and said we need a hero here at Notts, we need a goalscorer, and you’re going to be that bloke and get 20 goals.

I think I got 30 that season and you can’t wish for a better debut than coming in and scoring three goals, especially winning by five against Bradford who were one of the favourites in League 2.

We really put a stamp on the league in that match and showed them what we were about and what we were going to do.

I think the fans started backing me in a friendly when we played Forest and I scored the winner against them.

Sven Goran Eriksson was director of football and it was nice to say hello to him but for a bloke of his aura, it was nice to see him around.

The lad always used to stick together – we always used to go out for food straight after training.

The lads used to live all over the place but we’d all go out together – we had that team bond on and off the pitch.

When you’ve got that and they’re your mates off the pitch, you’d run through a brick wall for them.

lee,hughes
Lee Hughes

After winning the league and being promoted to League 1 after that campaign, there was too much change – that many players were brought in, it upset the lads.

Sometimes you know what players are like and if they are going to be an asset to the club and other times you see them in training and think, I’m not having him.

One of the fondest memories of my career was Notts County – I never thought it would be as good as it was.

I enjoyed my time so much there, it’s like my second club really.

I get welcomed every time I go back and to score that many goals for the club was brilliant.

To top it off, when we went to play Juventus, to open their new stadium, and to score was amazing.

Luca Toni was one of the first players ever to score there and to get Andrea Pirlo’s shirt after was amazing.

I remember we were in the dressing room and not many players exchanged shirts as they needed them for the ground but I got Pirlo’s.

I said to the lads that I was going into the changing room to get it signed and remember there were two security guards outside their dressing room.

I bolted straight past them and there was Pirlo with Buffon and Chiellini next to him who were all naked.

I said, Pirlo, sign this for me my mate and he looked at me gone out but knew what I meant as I was stood there with a pen.”

For more from Lee, watch the June 21 episode of Team Talk on our catch-up service by clicking here.

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