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    Got A Season Ticket Jack Reacher's Avatar
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    Default Eric Hughes

    Widnes site reporting that Eric Hughes has passed away.

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    Got A Season Ticket Jack Reacher's Avatar
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    Apologies. It would appear Widnes had two Eric Hughes.

    Both played for Saints. I thought it referred to our former coach.

    https://widnesvikings.co.uk/a-tribute-to-eric-hughes/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Reacher View Post
    Apologies. It would appear Widnes had two Eric Hughes.

    Both played for Saints. I thought it referred to our former coach.

    https://widnesvikings.co.uk/a-tribute-to-eric-hughes/
    Does anyone recall what happened to Eric Hughes after he finished coaching at Wigan. Seemed to drop off the planet. Attracted some unfair criticism at Saints in his spell at the club.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddiewaringsflatcap View Post
    Does anyone recall what happened to Eric Hughes after he finished coaching at Wigan. Seemed to drop off the planet. Attracted some unfair criticism at Saints in his spell at the club.
    When you think about it, it was all a bit poor the way the Saints fans behaved in the Hughes v Hanley affair. Whilst we all believed in Ellery and what he was doing on the field, it kind of turned out that the things Hughes said; i.e. Bonkers Ellery wanting to swap Cunningham and Martyn for Pachniuk and Holroyd were true after all.

    The way that the crowd then dragged Janette Smith into it all was disgraceful.

    If I remember correctly, Eric and Janette disappeared out of the limelight and into the Cheshire countryside, but I might be wrong.
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    Your right on every count DD. They have a spread just outside Lowton. You are also right about Ellery on the verge of going nuclear on us. Hughes was a good coach as well. One trophy away from starting a legacy.

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    someone's already updated the wrong wikipedia entry with his death.

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    The correct Eric Hughes featured in the online programme this week

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddiewaringsflatcap View Post
    Does anyone recall what happened to Eric Hughes after he finished coaching at Wigan. Seemed to drop off the planet. Attracted some unfair criticism at Saints in his spell at the club.
    Don't know where he went later, but I thought he laid a foundation for McRae and Hanley.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belgian Saint View Post
    Don't know where he went later, but I thought he laid a foundation for McRae and Hanley.

    There were IMO several factors that set us up to be in prime position to take over once the piescum began to decline a little. But Eric Hughes laying that strong foundation was very much one. His contribution I think has only really been recognised in hindsight, though, because at the time he wasn't that popular a coach with the fans and replacing him with McRae had fans more excited than upset. I think one thing that sealed Hughes' fate was the Regal Trophy final defeat to the pies when we had a team most felt should have done better. I think the team needed a new coach to expand on tactics (and Derek McVey was a revelation that 1st season)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belgian Saint View Post
    Don't know where he went later
    He moved to the dark side...

    https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...s-1279368.html
    I f*cking hate wi*an. And rugby yawnion. And Tories. And Brexit f*ckwits.

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    and this is the hooker who played for us

    http://www.saints.org.uk/saints/player.php?num=15653

    there's no mention of the number of times he was sent off. as i recall it was a lot. i seem to remember him coming on as a sub and being sent off about 2 minutes later!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belgian Saint View Post
    Don't know where he went later, but I thought he laid a foundation for McRae and Hanley.
    Absolutely.

    The Saints Academy, or whatever it was called then, had been a bit of a mess for a few years. With all due respect to the likes of Mike Riley, Paul Jones, Dave Cosgrove, Darren O'Brien and Austin Donegan, we were lagging badly behind. Gary Connolly was an oasis in a desert for player development.

    However, when Hughes took charge things started to stir and the likes of Steve Prescott, Joey Hayes, Keiron Cunningham and Danny Arnold came through and became established and successful parts of the team.

    He was then promoted to first team coach at a time when the club was struggling and morale amongst supporters was at rock bottom with the Connolly money having been spent on Second Division players and jobsworths. Although the Tommy Martyn signing was a masterstroke with hindsight, few saw it that way at the time as Connolly was replaced by Fogerty, Pickavance and Martyn, with no centre purchased.

    By the time Hughes left in January 1996, the team was scoring points for fun with a team of young players, many who had come through his system (with the above players supplemented by the likes of Phil Waring, Paul Anderson, Andy Leatham etc), plus the more experienced including Goulding, Martyn, Joynt, Hunte, Sullivan and Newlove, you could tell that this was a team that was really going places.

    I thought that the sacking at the time was harsh. It was a kneejerk reaction to a Regal Trophy Final defeat in which we played ever so well in. The trouble was that many had kidded themselves into believing that we would win after beating Warrington 80-0 in the last four. The reality was, though, that it was still a bit soon. However, I left Huddersfield that day convinced that the approaching summer season was going to see us at the very least properly challenge them, and so the sacking a few days later outraged me. Of course, we won the double the next year with McRae and maybe it needed his professionalism to fine-tune us into winners, so the club hardly got it wrong, but let us never forget that was a team that was built by Eric Hughes.

    He signed the right players and brought through the right players. For me, he is the one that kick-started the glorious era. Shaun McRae, Bonkers Ellery, Ian Millward and Daniel Anderson all helped us win the major trophies, but without Hughes' groundwork, none of that would have happened.

    Must be nice this for Eric. Now reading some cracking eulogies for him even though he isn't the Eric that's passed on. :-)
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    the plan to bring mcrae in was formulated a while before the final. hughes called howes 'a f**king fly by night' the day he sacked him!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DD View Post
    When you think about it, it was all a bit poor the way the Saints fans behaved in the Hughes v Hanley affair. Whilst we all believed in Ellery and what he was doing on the field, it kind of turned out that the things Hughes said; i.e. Bonkers Ellery wanting to swap Cunningham and Martyn for Pachniuk and Holroyd were true after all.

    The way that the crowd then dragged Janette Smith into it all was disgraceful.

    If I remember correctly, Eric and Janette disappeared out of the limelight and into the Cheshire countryside, but I might be wrong.
    Agree with this, and as you state futher, he laid the ground work that built the Champions we became. RIP Eric.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackbit View Post
    Agree with this, and as you state futher, he laid the ground work that built the Champions we became. RIP Eric.
    he isn't dead

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    Quote Originally Posted by el ste View Post
    he isn't dead
    One is, one isn't and no doubt there are 1000's of others in an awkward state of limbo as I type.


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    Quote Originally Posted by DD View Post
    Absolutely.

    The Saints Academy, or whatever it was called then, had been a bit of a mess for a few years. With all due respect to the likes of Mike Riley, Paul Jones, Dave Cosgrove, Darren O'Brien and Austin Donegan, we were lagging badly behind. Gary Connolly was an oasis in a desert for player development.

    However, when Hughes took charge things started to stir and the likes of Steve Prescott, Joey Hayes, Keiron Cunningham and Danny Arnold came through and became established and successful parts of the team.

    He was then promoted to first team coach at a time when the club was struggling and morale amongst supporters was at rock bottom with the Connolly money having been spent on Second Division players and jobsworths. Although the Tommy Martyn signing was a masterstroke with hindsight, few saw it that way at the time as Connolly was replaced by Fogerty, Pickavance and Martyn, with no centre purchased.

    By the time Hughes left in January 1996, the team was scoring points for fun with a team of young players, many who had come through his system (with the above players supplemented by the likes of Phil Waring, Paul Anderson, Andy Leatham etc), plus the more experienced including Goulding, Martyn, Joynt, Hunte, Sullivan and Newlove, you could tell that this was a team that was really going places.

    I thought that the sacking at the time was harsh. It was a kneejerk reaction to a Regal Trophy Final defeat in which we played ever so well in. The trouble was that many had kidded themselves into believing that we would win after beating Warrington 80-0 in the last four. The reality was, though, that it was still a bit soon. However, I left Huddersfield that day convinced that the approaching summer season was going to see us at the very least properly challenge them, and so the sacking a few days later outraged me. Of course, we won the double the next year with McRae and maybe it needed his professionalism to fine-tune us into winners, so the club hardly got it wrong, but let us never forget that was a team that was built by Eric Hughes.

    He signed the right players and brought through the right players. For me, he is the one that kick-started the glorious era. Shaun McRae, Bonkers Ellery, Ian Millward and Daniel Anderson all helped us win the major trophies, but without Hughes' groundwork, none of that would have happened.

    Must be nice this for Eric. Now reading some cracking eulogies for him even though he isn't the Eric that's passed on. :-)
    Could'nt let this go as it was pretty much bang on - well written and worthy of a response.

    I recall that A team you mentioned because when I was a kid, I used to go on a Wednesday afternoon as you used to get in for free with a season ticket. For your list you could add: Dave Large, Dave Lever and David Tanner (though he did play a good few first team games).

    Around Hughes' time the problem was more than Gary Connolly's sale to Wigan (which was effectively like losing two players as an international was sold to our key rival). The issue was we also lost 3 other world class players at this point: Kevin Ward, Tea Ropati and Jarrod McCracken and replaced them with Andy Dannatt, Afi Leuilea and the ilk. Mike McClennan was soon on his bike thereafter and Eric had to pick up the mess.

    I always go the feeling he was tainted by a perception he was the 'boards choice,' an easy and cheap target who would be pretty much a yes man. Though he was an intelligent man I think his softly spoken tones also worked against him as Neanderthal as that sounds. The reality was Hughes revamped the academy and I recall watching talents like you mention: the late, great Steve Prescott accompanied by other exciting talents squaring off against a Wire side that included a young Iestyn Harris.

    There was an excitement back at the club back then but I think it was a 50 odd walloping at home in the truncated season that sealed Hughes' fate. It was deflating and thought the side improved and recovered well it affirmed a perception an Australian was needed to turn the corner. Though McCrea did win us that Championship I doubt whether the side would have fell off the ledge so alarmingly under Hughes than they did under McCrea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddiewaringsflatcap View Post
    There was an excitement back at the club back then but I think it was a 50 odd walloping at home in the truncated season that sealed Hughes' fate. It was deflating and thought the side improved and recovered well it affirmed a perception an Australian was needed to turn the corner. Though McCrea did win us that Championship I doubt whether the side would have fell off the ledge so alarmingly under Hughes than they did under McCrea.
    I went regularly in that season (1995-96) and I'd forgotten the 58-4 defeat to Wigan on Boxing Day. Just had a look at the team on that day, and we had no Gibbs, Newlove, Sullivan, Goulding, Cunningham, Joynt. All of them played Wigan in the Regal final a couple of weeks later. So that tonking would have been no surprise given the team we picked. But I can't remember why we played such a crap team that day, except that we'd written the league off and were concentrating on winning the Regal obviously. My mind is a complete blank about almost that entire shortened season, it's strange.

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    howes and hughes sat down to pick the team to give the established stars a rest in preparation for the regal trophy. the rl fined them for fielding a weakened team and a further financial 'penalty' was incurred as many of the young lads who played that day had clauses in their contracts that gave them an extra few grand when they made their 1st team debuts!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    I went regularly in that season (1995-96) and I'd forgotten the 58-4 defeat to Wigan on Boxing Day. Just had a look at the team on that day, and we had no Gibbs, Newlove, Sullivan, Goulding, Cunningham, Joynt. All of them played Wigan in the Regal final a couple of weeks later. So that tonking would have been no surprise given the team we picked. But I can't remember why we played such a crap team that day, except that we'd written the league off and were concentrating on winning the Regal obviously. My mind is a complete blank about almost that entire shortened season, it's strange.
    I remember that game - highlight being Danny Arnold catching Martin Offiah with a try saver.
    The game I was on about though was the August 1995 loss to Wigan at home - 20:52. We were 32-0 down at half time and ai think that had a bearing on Hughes’ future...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    I went regularly in that season (1995-96) and I'd forgotten the 58-4 defeat to Wigan on Boxing Day. Just had a look at the team on that day, and we had no Gibbs, Newlove, Sullivan, Goulding, Cunningham, Joynt. All of them played Wigan in the Regal final a couple of weeks later. So that tonking would have been no surprise given the team we picked. But I can't remember why we played such a crap team that day, except that we'd written the league off and were concentrating on winning the Regal obviously. My mind is a complete blank about almost that entire shortened season, it's strange.
    As our friend points out above, it was the August Bank Holiday Monday game that was the debacle. After two great wins, we had sort of convinced ourselves that we were right up there with them, only to find ourselves 42-0 down after about 45 minutes. It may well have been that his cards were marked after that. It was a strange season in a way. One that showed so much promise, but one that showed us to have a soft underbelly.

    However, after the signing of Newlove, it was clear we were on the right path.

    That Christmas we had a huge injury crisis. However, I'm not sure that it was as bad as to have an entire 17 missing on Boxing Day. At the time, it was expected that we would be playing Warrington at home in the Regal Trophy Semi-Final three days later, and I suspect the vast majority would have simply been left out with a bigger picture in mind, especially when you consider that all bar Newlove and Sullivan were fit when the game was played five days later. How history could have changed in the Saints-Warrington derby had that semi-final not been postponed on the Saturday and the 80-0 hadn't happened.

    Back to the Boxing Day game, though and these were the players missing:-

    Lyon, Hunte, Gibbs, Newlove, Sullivan, Hammond, Goulding, Fogerty, Cunningham, Perelini, Matautia, Joynt, Busby

    This was the team that played:-

    Arnold, Riley, Haigh, O'Loughlin, Prescott, Waring, Veivers, Leatham, G.Cunningham, Devine, Anderson, Morley, Booth - SUBS - Arkwright, Sheil, Mathison, Walker.

    I had tickets to take my then German girlfriend, who was over visiting, to her first game that day. Once I heard the team, I threw them in the bin. I actually really did think we would lose by a cricket score. If somebody had said to me on Christmas Day 1995 that there would be an 80-0 score involving Saints over the next fortnight, I'd have bet my life savings and the life of me and all of the family that it would have been Wigan 80 Saints 0 on that Boxing Day. :-)
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    indeed, the lazarus like recovery of key players for the wire game triggered the rfl investigation into the sicknotes and subsequent fine for fielding a weakened team.

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    Hughes had some v good players, too good to be getting stuffed by anyone even a classy wigan outfit.

    Saints were always a bit flaky in those days . mcrae seemed to bit more consistency and belief in the team.

    I couldn;t have seen us making a come back like we did vs Bradford in the cup final with hughes in charge tbh

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