Date: 23rd November 2012 at 2:53pm
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In a move that would have been certain to cause controversy, Vale have missed out on the signing of Notts County striker Lee Hughes. The deal, which was expected to be a loan with a view to a permanent transfer in January, collapsed after Vale handed the necessary paperwork to the Football League three minutes after the deadline. The would be transfer came as somewhat of a surprise given that the 36 year old is the Magpies` second leading scorer this season. The former West Bromwich Albion player has been a revelation at the County Ground, scoring over 60 goals since his move from Oldham Athletic. Having started his career at Kidderminster Harriers, Hughes made his name at West Brom where he enjoyed a prolific spell that earned him a £5 million move to Coventry City.

However, it is off the field events that Hughes is better known for in recent years. He was sentenced to six years` imprisonment for causing death by dangerous driving. The presiding judge infamously commented on Hughes` ‘callous disregard` for the occupants of the vehicle he hit. Hughes did at least demonstrate remorse following his release from prison, meeting with the family of Douglas Graham.

Despite his goal scoring prowess, many supporters will be uncomfortable at the prospect of signing Hughes. Vale also missed out on a second potential loan signing, with Barnsley forward Chris Dagnall and ex Vale defender Lee Collins among the names mentioned. It is at least a statement of ambition from Vale`s new owners, who are clearly backing manager Micky Adams in the transfer market. Given the ‘quality` of some of the club`s signings over recent years, that at least can be applauded, though Adams will be desperately hoping Tom Pope steers clear from injury between now and the January transfer window.