The attacking midfielder arrived at City with his best years behind him, but Micky Adams thought he had enough still left in the tank to benefit his team in the Premier League when he signed him in July 2003 from Blackburn Rovers.
Hignett came through the youth ranks at Liverpool and Crewe before going on to shine at Middlesbrough, Aberdeen and Barnsley. His form with the Tykes caught the attention of Blackburn Rovers, who kept him for three years before City took him on a one-year deal.
The Lancashire born playmaker could never recapture the form of his best days while with City, however, and he made only three top-flight starts and ten substitute appearances, scoring one goal - an injury-time leveller against Arsenal.
Hignett fell so far down the pecking order that he was loaned out to his former club Crewe in February 2004 and he was released at the end of the season, with Leeds United taking a chance on him on non-contract terms. It didn't work out at Elland Road either and Hignett moved on to Darlington and experienced football overseas with Apollon Limassol.
Moves lower down the English leagues completed his career, with clubs such as Spennymoor Town, Hartlepool United and Billingham Synthonia.