Player profile

Laurie Hughes

Laurie Hughes

Birthdate: 2 March 1924
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Date of death: 9 September 2011
Other clubs: Tranmere Rovers (1941-43)
Bought from: Tranmere Rovers
Signed for LFC: 19.02.1943
International debut: 25.06.1950 vs. Chile
International caps: 3/0 - 02.07.1950
Liverpool debut: 05.01.1946
Last appearance: 28.09.1957
Debut goal: 08.12.1951
Last goal: 08.12.1951
Contract expiry: 1959
Win ratio: 42.94% W:140 D:79 L:107
Honours: League Championship 1946/47
Wartime games/goals: 112 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 303 / 1
Total LFC games/goals: 326 / 1

Player profile

A classy centre-half who had great heading ability and his positional sense and overall reading of the game was second to none. Hughes was a late developer physically and according to himself Liverpool and Everton "didn’t want to know me!” when asking for a trial at Liverpool's two biggest teams as they felt he was too small to become a successful professional. The local lad, born just off Everton Road in Liverpool, signed amateur terms for Tranmere Rovers after impressing them with his performances for the Liverpool Boys team. Hughes started out as a wing-half or inside-forward but as he grew taller he was used as a centre-half. “At one time I could beat a man on a sixpence but when I grew taller I became gangly and never had the same skill I had as a little boy,” he said. Hughes was still impressively skilful and after performing for Tranmere's war-time team since 1941 he signed for Liverpool in February 1943 and played regularly for the Reds during the remaining war years. Hughes gained immediate success after the resumption of League football as the club won the first post-war Championship.

Further success never came, although he did have the honour of playing in the 1950 FA Cup final against Arsenal. His selection was rather controversial as he had missed the semi-final victory over Everton, in which his replacement Bob Paisley had scored the opening goal. But it was Paisley who was left out when the Wembley team was announced. Hughes, who was previously uncapped, represented England three times in the World Cup that summer in Brazil becoming Liverpool's first-ever player to feature in the World Cup finals. He played against Chile, United States and Spain but those were his only 'full' caps. England's 1-0 loss to the USA is still considered one of the most unexpected results in the country's proud football history. Hughes' only goal in in his Liverpool career salvaged a draw two minutes from the end of the home fixture with Stoke on 8 December 1951. But the club's fortunes were dwindling rapidly and after narrowly avoiding relegation in 1952/53, Liverpool did go down in bottom place a year later. Hughes continued to play regularly and he only missed one League match in 1956/57. Approaching his mid-thirties by then, he only featured once for the first team in the following season and soldiered on in the reserves for a couple of years making his last-ever appearance for Liverpool reserves in October 1959, a couple of months before the arrival of Mr. Shankly.

Laurie Hughes in 1950: "As one of the few single men in the team, maybe I have more spare time than my married colleagues. My hobbies are tennis, golf and swimming, with stamp collecting an additional side-line."

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 303 23 0 0 0 326
1945-1946 0 3 0 0 0 3
1946-1947 30 1 0 0 0 31
1947-1948 32 2 0 0 0 34
1948-1949 12 0 0 0 0 12
1949-1950 35 6 0 0 0 41
1950-1951 24 0 0 0 0 24
1951-1952 25 1 0 0 0 26
1952-1953 11 0 0 0 0 11
1953-1954 27 1 0 0 0 28
1954-1955 26 3 0 0 0 29
1955-1956 39 5 0 0 0 44
1956-1957 41 1 0 0 0 42
1957-1958 1 0 0 0 0 1

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
14 Middlesbrough
14 Aston Villa
12 Charlton Athletic
12 Huddersfield Town
12 Arsenal
11 Bolton Wanderers
11 Stoke City
10 Portsmouth
10 Sunderland
10 Manchester United
10 Wolves
10 Blackburn Rovers
10 Chelsea
10 Burnley
9 Fulham
9 Derby
8 Manchester City
7 Everton
7 Preston North End
6 Bristol Rovers
6 Blackpool
6 Newcastle United
6 Nottingham Forest
6 Lincoln City
6 Doncaster Rovers
5 Sheffield Wednesday
5 Tottenham
5 Notts County
5 Rotherham United
5 Swansea City
5 Sheffield United
5 Bury
4 West Ham United
4 Leicester City
4 WBA
4 Bristol City
4 Leeds United
4 Port Vale
4 Grimsby Town
3 Birmingham City
3 Barnsley
3 Hull City
3 Plymouth Argyle
2 Cardiff City
2 Scunthorpe United
2 Leyton Orient
2 Ipswich Town
2 Brentford
2 Chester City
1 Workington
1 Accrington Stanley
1 Exeter City
1 Southend
1 Stockport County
1 Walsall
1 Luton Town
Total Competition
303 League
23 FA Cup

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 1 0 0 0 0 1
1945-1946 0 0 0 0 0 0
1946-1947 0 0 0 0 0 0
1947-1948 0 0 0 0 0 0
1948-1949 0 0 0 0 0 0
1949-1950 0 0 0 0 0 0
1950-1951 0 0 0 0 0 0
1951-1952 1 0 0 0 0 1
1952-1953 0 0 0 0 0 0
1953-1954 0 0 0 0 0 0
1954-1955 0 0 0 0 0 0
1955-1956 0 0 0 0 0 0
1956-1957 0 0 0 0 0 0
1957-1958 0 0 0 0 0 0

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Opponent
1 Preston North End
Total Competition
1 League
Total Goal minute period
1 76-90 minutes
Total Open play/Penalty
1 Open play

Wartime Appearances / Goals

Season Appearances Goals
1942-1943 2 0
1943-1944 39 0
1944-1945 39 0
1945-1946 32 0

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 05.01.1946 Chester Sealand Road FA Cup
50 08.11.1947 Grimsby Town Anfield League
100 17.12.1949 Sunderland Roker Park League
150 01.09.1951 Huddersfield Town Anfield League
200 23.01.1954 Tottenham Anfield League
250 08.10.1955 Bristol City Ashton Gate League
300 24.11.1956 Swansea Town Vetch Field League

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 88 08.12.1951 Preston North End Anfield League

Related Articles

Local boy Hughes leaves Tranmere for Liverpool

Liverpool born and bred Laurie Hughes started out at Tranmere but starred at Liverpool.More

Unique Programmes: Anfield's Record Crowd

With plans for a new stadium and its capacity still ongoing, it remains to be seen whether a Liverpool home match will have an attendance greater than that which saw an FA Cup fourth round tie against Wolves in February 1952. More

Related Quotes

"As one of the few single men in the team, maybe I have more spare time than my married colleagues. My hobbies are tennis, golf and swimming, with stamp collecting an additional side-line."

Laurie Hughes in 1950

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