Mark Hughes started his playing career in 1980 at Manchester United and ended his career at Blackburn Rovers in the year 2002. He also played for Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Southampton and Everton. He is one of the best forwards of his time.
In 1987–88 season Barcelona loaned Hughes to Bayern Munich and it was during this time that he played two competitive matches in a single day. We know that it becomes a bit hard for players like Raheem Sterling to play two matches in a week, or maybe Daniel Sturridge who was cajoled into action by his Manager’s comments. Then we have this Manchester United legend who would seem like a superman if compared to the above mentioned players.
On 11th November 1987, Mark Hughes played two matches in a single day:
- He played for Wales against Czechoslovakia in Prague in a Euro 88 qualifier. Wales lost the match 2-0.
- He was a substitute for Bayern Munich in their 2nd round cup replay against Borussia Mochengladbach. Bayern won the match 3-2.
So, in the morning he lost 2-0 and at night he won 3-2, not a bad deal at all. Mark Hughes captained the Wales side and played for the whole 90 minutes. He headed hastily to the airport as soon as the game finished. It was a logistically difficult task and he had to avail a private jet for this purpose. He did it when he came on as a substitute for Bayern in the evening.
Moral of the story: We had Super-Sparky-Heroes and now we can’t find one. Don’t even dare to suggest this to a modern day professional footballer.
We also have an excerpt from his interview with FourFourTwo magazine on May, 2007 when he was the manager of Blackburn Rovers.
“I seem to recall you playing two games in a day: one for Wales and one for Bayern. Did you? Or am I losing it in my old age?” – Alan Pegg, via e-mail.
“No, you’re not losing it. I was due to play in a European Championship qualifier against Czechoslovakia which we needed to win to qualify. The week before, I’d signed for Bayern and I had dinner with Uli Hoeness who asked me what time the Wales match was. I told him it was around midday and he said, ‘That’s OK then, you can play in the evening as well.’ Apparently he’d done it before with Soren Lerby, the Danish international. So we kept quiet about it, Uli went to the Wales game and picked me up and we flew to the Bayern game which was just on the other side of the Czech border.
We actually flew over the ground and missed the first half, but I got there at the start of the second half. We didn’t tell anybody – there was a guy in the Bayern team who had a similar haircut to me and when they saw him warming up everybody thought it was me. Then they put my name up and I came on. We were 2-0 down and I’d like to say I turned it round but I didn’t because I was hopelessly knackered. But the other guy who came on was Rummenigge’s younger brother; he scored two goals and we won.”
(You may also like: Bizarre story of a soccer match that was played in three halves)
Photo by Rami ™