But he chose not to celebrate and received rapturous applause from the supporters City where he spent nine years as a player.
Hughes said: "The City fans were fantastic in terms of the reception that they gave to Richard.
"He was a fantastic player over many years for City during the good and the bad times.
"Our supporters recognised that fact and it was really special."
In contrast, the Villa fans constantly booed their former midfielder Barry on his first return since a £12million move to Eastlands.
Hughes said: "The reaction was quite predictable. I'm sure people here appreciate what Gareth did for Villa but the minority made the louder noise. I don't think it affected him."