Bangor City have played a major part in these articles on Anglesey football stars past and present and here we feature another Citizens great with island connections – John Hughes.
Renowned goal-getter John is fondly remembered by Bangor fans for his strike-rate, but also once scored in the FA Cup for Altrincham against Everton.
Born on May 4, 1951, Bangor-born but Anglesey-raised Hughes was initially a net-finder with City who caught the eye of Blackpool, for whom he signed in July 1969.
After eight appearances (without a goal) John moved to Southport in March 1971 and scored once in eight matches.
Following spells with (non-leaguers) Bangor City and Altrincham, he signed for Stockport County in January 1976 and scored three times in 12 games, before rejoining Bangor for whom he played for several more seasons.
John had pace, power and could finish with aplomb. He could also miss the odd chance but was never afraid to run through again minutes later and put things right.
A direct goal-scoring striker, John holds a special space in the memories of not just City fans but also those of Stockport, for whom he played league football and Altrincham, where he was part of their FA Cup giant-killings side and formed a deadly double act with Tony Broadhead, also a Bangor legend.
Whilst with Alti – who were regular FA Cup giant killers – John played at Old Trafford in front of more than 35,000 fans for The Robins in a replay against Everton on 7th January 1975.
It was his goal past Dai Davies at Goodison which had earned Altrincham the 1-1 draw before a crowd of 34,000 a few days earlier.
Injury-hit Everton were second in the Division One table, but fell behind to their Northern Premier League visitors when 30-goal Hughes struck with a great finish before half time.
Hughes also missed a good chance to make it 2-0 after the interval.
In a stormy encounter, the Blues’ Gary Jones was sent off for punching an opponent and the home side’s John Connolly suffered a broken leg following a vicious challenge.
Everton’s 10-men equalised 20 minutes from time, skipper Dave Clements hammering a shot into the roof of the net.
With a full complement of 11 players for the replay at Old Trafford, the Toffees won comfortably 2-0 with goals by Mick Lyons and Bob Latchford, but in that first game, Billy Bingham’s Everton came as close as they ever had to suffering the shame of being knocked out by a non-league side.
Hughes has remained a popular figure with Alti fans down the years.
One of his early Altrincham pen pictures read: “Signed this summer from Bangor City. Former Welsh Under-23 International whilst with Blackpool. Second highest goalscorer in the League for the last two seasons and currently the leading scorer in the League this term. Has been tipped for a full Welsh International cap.”
John Hughes – a Farrar Road hero who will always conjure a vivid memory of Bangor City’s better days.
Many thanks to Mike Smith of the Bangor City-based Citizens Choice website for his help with this article. Check out http://www.the-citizens-choice.co.uk