Chris Hughton

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Chris Hughton
HughtonNorwich.jpg
Hughton while manager of Norwich City in 2012
Personal information
Full name Christopher William Gerard Hughton
Date of birth (1958-12-11) 11 December 1958 (age 55)
Place of birth Forest Gate, England
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position Full back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1977–1990 Tottenham Hotspur 297 (12)
1990–1992 West Ham United 32 (0)
1992–1993 Brentford 32 (0)
Total 361 (12)
National team
1979–1991 Republic of Ireland 53 (1)
Teams managed
1998–2008 Tottenham Hotspur (assistant)
2008 Newcastle United (caretaker)
2009–2010 Newcastle United
2011–2012 Birmingham City
2012–2014 Norwich City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Christopher William Gerard "Chris" Hughton[1] (born 11 December 1958) is a former professional football player and former manager of Norwich City. In 1979, he became the first mixed race player to represent the Republic of Ireland.

After making his professional début aged 20, Hughton spent most of his playing career with Tottenham Hotspur as a left back, leaving in 1990 after 13 years. After relatively brief spells with West Ham United and Brentford, Hughton retired from playing in 1993 aged 34. He earned 53 caps representing the Republic of Ireland national football team, scoring one goal and starting in all three of Ireland's games at UEFA Euro 1988 in West Germany.

From 1993 to 2007, Hughton served as coach and then assistant manager for Tottenham. He joined Newcastle United as first team coach in 2008, and, following their relegation, became caretaker manager. He led Newcastle back to the Premier League in his first season in charge, along the way breaking a number of records and securing the permanent managerial position. He was sacked as manager by Mike Ashley the following December, with his side 12th in the table. Hughton managed Birmingham City for a single season, leading them to 4th place in the league, before joining Norwich in June 2012. Norwich sacked Hughton in April 2014.[2]

Club career[edit]

A product of Tottenham Hotspur's youth system, the left back made his debut in 1979 in the second round of the League Cup against Manchester United.[3] He was a member of the Tottenham side which won both the 1981 FA Cup and the 1982 FA Cup, the 1984 UEFA Cup and was runner-up in the 1982 Football League Cup and the 1987 FA Cup.[3]

He played 398 games for Tottenham in all competitions, scoring 19 goals and is considered one of the best full-backs to have played for the club.[3][4] In November 1990 West Ham United signed Hughton, initially on loan, then on a free transfer[5] with West Ham manager Billy Bonds signing Hughton as cover for the injured Julian Dicks.[6] Locally-born Hughton described the move thus: "In a sense it was like going home. I was born about 10 minutes away from the ground. My mum and dad still live there."[6] He played two seasons at West Ham, making 43 appearances in all competitions without scoring helping them win promotion from the Division Two in 1991.[4][5] In 1992 he signed for Brentford, again on a free transfer.[5] He played one season for Brentford, before retiring aged 34.[7]

International career[edit]

Though being born in England, Hughton qualified to play for the Republic of Ireland as the son of an Irish mother and a Ghanaian father,[8] becoming the first mixed-race player to represent the country.[8] He won 53 caps for the Republic from 1979 to 1991.[7]

Hughton was part of the nation's final squads for Euro 1988 — playing in all three matches — and the 1990 World Cup where he did not play (Steve Staunton played instead). He scored his only international goal in a 6–0 win against Cyprus in the qualifiers for the 1982 World Cup.

Hughton was awarded a testimonial, staged on 29 May 1995 at Lansdowne Road.

He served as the national team's assistant manager under Brian Kerr, from February 2003 to October 2005.

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Republic of Ireland's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Ref
1. 19 November 1980 Lansdowne Road, Dublin  Cyprus 6–0 6–0 1982 World Cup qualifier [9]

Coaching career[edit]

Tottenham Hotspur[edit]

From June 1993 to October 2007, Hughton was a coach at Tottenham Hotspur, initially in charge of the under-21 team, then the reserve side in 1999, being promoted to the first team two years later. In his time at Spurs, he served under ten different managers: Ray Clemence, Doug Livermore, Osvaldo Ardiles, Gerry Francis, Christian Gross, George Graham, Glenn Hoddle, David Pleat, Jacques Santini and Martin Jol. He also served as caretaker manager on two separate occasions. With Hughton on board, Tottenham finished in fifth place for two consecutive seasons (2005–06 and 2006–07), while also winning the Football League Cup in 1998–99. On 25 October 2007, Hughton was dismissed as assistant manager along with then manager Jol, following a UEFA Cup home defeat (in the group stages) to Getafe.[10]

Newcastle United[edit]

On 22 February 2008, he was appointed first team coach at Newcastle United by director of football Dennis Wise, joining Kevin Keegan's coaching staff, working primarily on defence with Steve Round.[11] In his first game, Newcastle beat former club Tottenham Hotspur 4–1, at White Hart Lane.[12]

On 8 September 2008, Hughton was named caretaker manager of Newcastle following the departures of Keegan, Terry McDermott and Adam Sadler.[13] After a defeat to newly promoted, but in-form Hull City[14] and a League Cup exit to Tottenham Hotspur[15] though, Hughton stood down as caretaker and was replaced on a temporary basis by Joe Kinnear.[16] Hughton was promoted to Assistant Manager after the Magpies appointed Colin Calderwood as First-Team Coach on 26 January 2009. In February, Kinnear took ill before a game with West Bromwich Albion,[17] Hughton took charge of that game which Newcastle won 3–2.[18] In the week following the win it was revealed that Kinnear needed a heart bypass operation and that Hughton along with Colin Calderwood and Paul Barron would have to take charge of the team for the next few weeks and possibly months. However, defeats to Bolton Wanderers,[19] Manchester United[20] and Arsenal,[21] and draws against Everton[22] and Hull City[23] resulted in Newcastle appointing Alan Shearer as interim manager until the end of the season.[24]

Managerial career[edit]

Newcastle United caretaker[edit]

During the off-season of 2009, owner Mike Ashley announced he was selling the club, Hughton was again left with the job of caretaker manager, when the club failed to further secure the services of Alan Shearer. This was followed by a statement from Llambias saying "Mike Ashley feels it would be unwise to appoint a team manager when the club is for sale", leaving Hughton in charge for the start of the 2009–10 season. Hughton's first two games in charge of the new season saw inspired performances in a 1–1 draw with West Bromwich Albion away from home and a memorable 3–0 win against Reading at home, which ended in Shola Ameobi getting his first ever hat trick. He continued Newcastle's unbeaten start of the new season with a 1–0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday which also featured his first transfer signing of the season Danny Simpson. Hughton also signed Peter Løvenkrands and Fabrice Pancrate on free transfers and completed the loan signings of Zurab Khizanishvili[25] and Marlon Harewood.[26]

Permanent appointment[edit]

Hughton managing Newcastle United in 2010.

A positive start to the 2009–10 season saw Hughton win successive manager of the month awards for August and September and then again in November, resulting in the board naming him as the new permanent manager of the club, after two stints as caretaker.[27] Hughton's league start to his managerial career has been the best in Newcastle's history. In January, Newcastle signed Mike Williamson, Wayne Routledge and Leon Best in permanent transfers and Fitz Hall and Patrick Van Aanholt on loan. On 5 April 2010, Newcastle, under Hughton's control, confirmed their promotion back to the Premier League prior to a match against Sheffield United, after Nottingham Forest failed to win their match against Cardiff City. They then went on to win the game 2–1 with a Peter Løvenkrands penalty and a Bicycle kick from Kevin Nolan to earn them a place back in the Premier League after just one season away.[28] Newcastle then went on to clinch the championship title on 19 April 2010 after a 2–0 victory over Plymouth Argyle, Winning 30, Drawing 12 and Losing just 4 of their 46 matches. Newcastle were unbeaten at home for the entire 2009–10 season including both cup competitions, clinching promotion in record time.

During pre-season for the 2010–11 season, Hughton signed Sol Campbell and Dan Gosling for free whilst getting James Perch for an undisclosed fee. His first home win on return to the Premier League came on 22 August, when Newcastle thrashed Aston Villa 6–0, with 3 goals from Andy Carroll, 2 goals from Kevin Nolan and 1 goal from Joey Barton.[29] Hughton received praise for his calm management style to stabilise the club, shrewd signings and guiding Newcastle back to the Premier League. Prior to Newcastle's 1–1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers and away win at Everton, he completed the signings of Cheick Tioté and Hatem Ben Arfa. Despite leading his newly promoted side to healthy ninth place by the end of October, unrest came when star player Andy Carroll was arrested for assault. Newcastle followed this with wins at West Ham United and a memorable 5–1 derby victory against Sunderland.[30] Both before and after the victory Hughton received the backing of his players and the Newcastle supporters.[31] Later in 2010, Hughton led United to their first win against Arsenal in five years, beating Arsenal 1–0 at the Emirates Stadium with an Andy Carroll header.

Hughton managing Birmingham City in 2011.

Following a 3–1 defeat at West Brom in December, Hughton became the first Premier League manager of the 2010–11 season to lose his job, as he was dismissed by Managing Director Derek Llambias. The decision was ill received by the players and the supporters, with veteran defender Sol Campbell claiming that the decision "makes no sense", and local commentator and ex-player John Anderson saying he was "devastated and angry" by the sacking.[32] The sacking was also condemned by Lord Alan Sugar,[33] Colin Calderwood,[34] and Alan Shearer.[35] The club stated that "an individual with more managerial experience [was] needed to take the club forward".[36] Peter Fraser of Sky Sports stated that Hughton "brought calmness, dignity and respect to the Magpies' dugout",[37] whilst Phil McNulty of the BBC said that "Newcastle's followers have been loyal and grateful to Hughton" and that "Ashley will no doubt face further accusations that he is out of touch with football's realities".[38] Before the match against Liverpool, on 11 December, campaigners from United For Newcastle organised a protest outside St James' Park as an opportunity for supporters to thank Hughton and to show their anger towards Ashley's decision.[39]

Birmingham City[edit]

After media speculation linking Hughton with a variety of clubs,[40][41][42] Hughton was appointed manager of Championship club and League Cup holders Birmingham City in June 2011.[43] In the club's first European campaign for 50 years, he led them into the group stages of the Europa League courtesy of a 3–0 aggregate win against Portuguese side Nacional.[44] During October, Birmingham won four and drew one of their League matches, an achievement for which Hughton was named Championship Manager of the Month.[45] He led Birmingham to the fifth round of the 2011–12 FA Cup, drawing away at Chelsea before losing 2–0 in the replay.[46] Hughton guided the Blues to a 4th placed finish in the Championship, qualifying for the play-offs,[47] where they lost 3-2 over the two legs of the Semi Final against Blackpool.[48]

Norwich City[edit]

At the end of the 2011–12 season Birmingham gave Norwich City permission to talk to Hughton about their vacant managerial post, and he signed for the Canaries on 7 June 2012.[49] His first league game in charge was against Fulham, where Norwich lost 5-0,[50] although this result was followed by memorable league victories against both Arsenal[51] and Manchester United,[52] as well as a League Cup victory against Tottenham Hotspur.[53] Norwich however experienced bad form throughout the winter and towards the end of the season. Wins against West Brom and Manchester City, on the last day of the season, prevented relegation, meaning Wigan Athletic instead went down.[54] Having battled against relegation for the whole of the season, Hughton's first season in charge saw them finish in 11th place.[55]

On 6 April 2014, Norwich City announced they had "parted company" with Hughton with immediate effect. At the time of his departure Norwich were in 17th place in the Premier League, one place and five points above the relegation zone.[56] Since leaving Norwich, Hughton has been offered, and rejected, assistant manager roles at various Premier League clubs.[57]

Managerial style[edit]

Hughton places great emphasis on two aspects of management: "As a manager, I've got to make sure they have the correct training sessions. That they are disciplined. That creates a good environment."[58]

When Hughton was dismissed as Newcastle manager, Kevin Nolan told The Sun, "Sometimes at clubs, when a manager goes, there will be some players who are pleased to see the back of him ... But everybody liked Chris. He was very popular, not just with the players but everyone who worked for the club."[59]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 5 April 2014[60]
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Tottenham Hotspur England 20 November 1997 25 November 1997 1 0 0 1 00.00
Tottenham Hotspur England 7 September 1998 1 October 1998 6 3 2 1 50.00
Newcastle United England 8 September 2008 29 September 2008 4 0 0 4 00.00
Newcastle United England 7 February 2009 2 April 2009 6 1 2 3 16.67
Newcastle United England 1 June 2009 6 December 2010 70 39 17 14 55.71
Birmingham City England 22 June 2011 7 June 2012 62 26 21 15 41.94
Norwich City England 7 June 2012 6 April 2014 82 24 23 35 29.27
Total 231 93 65 73 40.26

Personal life[edit]

Hughton was born in Forest Gate, then part of Essex, now part of London,[61] the son of a Ghanaian postman, Willie Hughton, and his Irish wife Christine, née Bourke.[62] He was educated locally, at St Bonaventure's School,[63] and completed a four-year apprenticeship as a lift engineer before turning professional with Tottenham Hotspur.[64] His brother Henry played football for Crystal Palace, Leyton Orient and Brentford, and for the Republic of Ireland under-21 team in 1981.

Hughton and wife Cheryl have four children: daughters Carleen and Aisha and sons Leon and Cian.[65] Cian also became a footballer; he began his career with Tottenham Hotspur, represented the Republic of Ireland at under-21 level, and played in the Football League for Lincoln City.[66]

Hughton wrote a column for the Workers' Revolutionary Party publication News Line in the 1970s.[58][67] Hughton plays down the Trotskyist connection: "it's probably not as dramatic as it sounds. I've always had strong views on social issues such as hospitals - I think we should have a good health system - and the education system, too ... These days, players can do as many interviews and columns as they want. Back in the day, it wasn't like that. Anyway, I'm sure I wrote about football and football issues. Nothing else."[58]

Honours[edit]

Player[edit]

Tottenham Hotspur
Brentford

Manager[edit]

Newcastle United

Individual[edit]

  • Football League Championship Manager of the Month: Winner (August 2009, September 2009, November 2009, April 2010, October 2011, January 2012)
  • Football League Championship LMA Manager of the Season: Winner (2009–2010)

References[edit]

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External links[edit]