Michael Hughes (footballer)

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Michael Hughes
Personal information
Full name Michael Eamon Hughes
Date of birth (1971-08-02) 2 August 1971 (age 47)
Place of birth Larne, Northern Ireland
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing position Attacking midfielder (retired)
Youth career
Carrick Rangers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987-1988 Carrick Rangers 18 (1)
1988–1992 Manchester City 26 (1)
1992–1996 Strasbourg 83 (9)
1994–1997 West Ham United 84 (5)
1997–2002 Wimbledon 115 (13)
2002 Birmingham City 3 (0)
2003–2007 Crystal Palace 126 (7)
2007–2008 Coventry City 18 (0)
2009–2010 St Neots Town ? (?)
National team
1989–1990 Northern Ireland U-23 2 (0)
1990 Northern Ireland U-21 1 (0)
1991–2004 Northern Ireland 71 (5)
Teams managed
2011–2013 Carrick Rangers

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Michael Eamon Hughes (born 2 August 1971) is a retired Northern Irish footballer who currently is a majority shareholder and co-owner of NIFL Championship 1 side Carrick Rangers [1].

Club career

Hughes' career began with Carrick Rangers, before moving to Manchester City as a trainee.[1] In August 1992, he moved to RC Strasbourg for a fee of £450,000. During his four years at Strasbourg, Hughes spent two years on loan to West Ham United. It was during the first of these two loan spells that Hughes would have a say in the outcome of the 1994–95 FA Premier League season. West Ham were playing at home to Manchester United on the last day of the season. United's rivals for the title were Blackburn Rovers, who lost against Liverpool on the same day. That meant that had United beaten West Ham, they would win the league. However Hughes put West Ham ahead in the first half and despite a second half equaliser from Brian McClair, West Ham held out to hand the title to Blackburn.[2]

West Ham United

In July 1996, Hughes made the move to West Ham permanent. In the process, he became the first player to change clubs for free on a Bosman ruling. The following season Joe Kinnear took Hughes to Wimbledon in a £1.6million deal.


Hughes became embroiled in a contract dispute between Birmingham City and Wimbledon in 2002. In March 2002, Hughes played three matches for Birmingham on loan, but was injured before the club won promotion to the Premier League and a permanent switch fell through. Wimbledon then refused to take him back. The ensuing dispute over who held his registration continued for over a year and Hughes' career had to be put on hold. In October 2003 Hughes signed for Palace (who shared Selhurst Park with Wimbledon at the time) and was compensated by Birmingham.

Crystal Palace

At Palace, he quickly became a fans' favourite, and, for the 2004–05 season, Hughes was appointed team captain.

Following relegation, he was replaced in the role by defender Fitz Hall (a decision, by the Palace management, which proved unpopular). However, after a run of good form, Hughes was re-appointed team captain, in January 2006. He later lost the captaincy again, this time to Carl Fletcher. He was released by Palace in May 2007.

Peter Taylor commented on Hughes' Palace future claiming that: "Michael Hughes has basically been released, but his is slightly different because I'm really saying that something could also develop later on."[3]

Coventry City

On 6 July 2007, Hughes joined his former manager Iain Dowie at Coventry City, signing a one-year contract.[4]

On 22 May 2008, Michael Hughes was released by Coventry City following the expiry of his contract, having made 18 first team appearances during the 2007–08 season. Hughes fell out of favour with new Coventry manager Chris Coleman who eventually decided not to renew his contract.

St Neots Town

In March 2009, Michael joined St Neots Town as player-coach, working alongside former international team-mate Steve Lomas.

International career

Hughes has won 71 international caps with the Northern Ireland national team, scoring five times.

International goals

Scores and results list Northern Ireland's goal tally first.

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 2 June 1992 Bremen, Germany  Germany 1-1 1-1 Friendly match
2 3 September 1995 Porto, Portugal  Portugal 1-1 1-1 UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying
3 20 August 1997 Belfast, Northern Ireland  Germany 1-0 1-3 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
4 28 March 2000 Valletta, Malta  Malta 1-0 3-0 Friendly match
5 5 September 2001 Belfast, Northern Ireland  Iceland 2-0 3-0 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification

Managerial career

Carrick Rangers

Hughes was appointed caretaker manager of Carrick Rangers after the sacking of Stephen Small. On 23 September 2013, Hughes stepped down as manager and was replaced by Gary Haveron. Hughes retained his position as the club's chief executive and majority shareholder.[5]


  1. http://nifootball.blogspot.com/2007/01/michael-hughes.html
  2. "Five of the best – a look back at the biggest title deciders". BBC Sport. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Palace trio set to leave Selhurst" - BBC Sport
  4. "Coventry move to snap up Hughes" - BBC Sport
  5. "Michael Hughes steps down as Carrick Rangers manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Neil Shipperley
Crystal Palace captain
Succeeded by
Fitz Hall
Preceded by
Fitz Hall
Crystal Palace captain
Succeeded by
Carl Fletcher