Mark Hughes Profile
Leslie Mark Hughes, born Wrexham, Wales, November 1, 1963. Mark Hughes no doubt cemented his name into the history of Manchester United when he registered both goals for the team in the unforgettable 2–1 victory over former employers FC Barcelona in the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final at Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam on the 15th of May 1991.
An imposing and powerful athlete, the pure physicality of Mark Hughes no doubt scared the living daylights out of most of his opponents in his playing career. He joined Manchester United from school and debuted as a replacement for Northern Ireland international Norman Whiteside in a 2–0 Football League Cup Second Round victory against Port Vale at Old Trafford on the 26th of October 1983. He found the net for the first time for The Reds in a 1-1 League Cup Fourth Round draw with Oxford United at Manor Ground on the 30th of November the same year, and his first top flight goal arrived in a 2-0 win over Leicester City at Old Trafford on the 10th of March 1984. A lavishly gifted attacker with a dynamic burst of pace, he finished as top scorer with 25 goals in 55 first team appearances the following season as well as helping Manchester United beat Howard Kendall´s double chasing Everton 1–0 in the FA Cup Final on the 18th of May 1985. Famed for his fearsome shot, Hughes was transferred to La Liga giants Barcelona for a fee in the region of of £2 million in the summer of 1986, but he failed to impress and was subsequently loaned out to German Bundesliga team Bayern Munich in the summer of 1987. As a consequence, he returned to Manchester United for £1.8 million two years later and once again he proved to be a prolific goalscorer. The home coming son netted twice as United drew 3–3 with Steve Coppell´s Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Final on the 12th of May 1990 before a goal from Lee Martin in the replay five days later gave Alex Ferguson his first major trophy at Old Trafford.
And to top it all, Mark Hughes both of the goals for Manchester United against his former club Barcelona when Alex Ferguson´s men won the European Cup Winners’ Cup the following year. In front of over 43,000 people at the Feyenoord Stadium, United went ahead in the 67th minute when Steve Bruce nodded a free-kick from Bryan Robson onto Hughes who put the ball into the back of the net from close range, and seven minutes later Sparky hit his second goal of the evening before Ronald Koeman scored a consolation for The Blaugrana with a free-kick in the 79th minute. The trigger happy goal plunderer notched an astonishing 119 goals in 345 matches for United before he eventually joined forces with Chelsea in a £1.5 million deal at the beginning of the 1995–96 campaign. While at Stamford Bridge, he managed to score 25 League goals in 95 Premier League appearances for The Blues before he waved goodbye to West London. The Welshman would later appear for Southampton, Everton, and Blackburn Rovers before he finally announced his retirement from the game of football in 2002. An international for Wales, the lethal finisher pulled on the famous red shirt on 72 occasions between 1984 and 1999, contributing 16 goals during the process. Hughes later went to manage several teams, including Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Stoke City, and Southampton. Sir Alex Ferguson: “Nobody thought that Mark Hughes would become a manager, never in a million years, and we all thought that Bryan Robson was a certainty to be a top manager.” Mark Hughes Playing Career: Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Chelsea, Southampton, Everton, Blackburn Rovers.