Michael Hughes (footballer)

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

Michael Hughes
Personal information
Full name Michael Eamon Hughes
Date of birth (1971-08-02) 2 August 1971 (age 48)
Place of birth Larne, Northern Ireland
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[1]
Playing position Attacking midfielder
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)
1994–1995West Ham United (loan) 17 (2)
1995–1996West Ham United (loan) 28 (0)
1996–1997 West Ham United 38 (3)
1997–2002 Wimbledon 115 (13)
2002Birmingham City (loan) 3 (0)
2003–2007 Crystal Palace 126 (7)
2007–2008 Coventry City 18 (0)
2009–2010 St Neots Town ? (?)
Total 472 (36)
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

Club careerEdit

Hughes' career began with Carrick Rangers, before moving to Manchester City as a trainee.[3] 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.[4]

West Ham UnitedEdit

In July 1996, Hughes made the move to West Ham permanent. In the process, he became the first British player to change clubs for free on a Bosman ruling.[5] The following season Joe Kinnear took Hughes to Wimbledon in a £1.6 million deal.[6]


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 Crystal Palace (who shared Selhurst Park with Wimbledon at the time) and an out-of-court settlement was reached with Birmingham.[7]

Crystal PalaceEdit

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."[8]

Coventry CityEdit

On 6 July 2007, Hughes joined his former manager Iain Dowie at Coventry City, signing a one-year contract.[9]

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 TownEdit

In March 2009, Michael joined St Neots Town as player-coach, working alongside former international teammate Steve Lomas.[10]

International careerEdit

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

International goalsEdit

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

No. 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 careerEdit

Carrick RangersEdit

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.[11]


  1. ^ "Michael Hughes". Soccerbase. Centurysomm. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  2. ^ "The ITV Hub". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014.
  3. ^ Jcd (3 January 2007). "Michael Hughes".
  4. ^ "Five of the best – a look back at the biggest title deciders". BBC Sport. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  5. ^ Duxbury, Nick (5 July 1996). "Middlesbrough spend £7m on Ravanelli". The Independent. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  6. ^ Nixon, Alan (26 September 1997). "Football: Wimbledon snap up £1.6m Hughes". The Independent. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  7. ^ Scott, Matt (29 May 2004). "Michael Hughes leaves his red-tape limbo behind". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Palace trio set to leave Selhurst" - BBC Sport
  9. ^ "Coventry move to snap up Hughes" - BBC Sport
  10. ^ "St Neots appoint Lomas and Hughes as management team". Hunts Post. 23 March 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Michael Hughes steps down as Carrick Rangers manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 September 2013.

External linksEdit