Mark Hughes. 5 Greatest Goals
Updated: Apr 19
Manchester United have had some legendary strikers throughout their history, but for a player who Sir Alex Ferguson said ‘...Was the best big game player I have ever known’ – Mark Hughes has to be recognized as one of the all-time legends of Man United
Sparky started his footballing life, straight out of school with Manchester United in 1980 – but it was not until 1983 that he made his first team debut. With 121 appearances and 47 goals between 1983 and 1986 the footballing world took notice of the young Welshman and he was sold to Barcelona for £2 million. By 1988 Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge and decided he wanted Hughes back in his team – as he started on building his incredible era at Old Trafford and bought him back for £1.8 million.
Staying with the club until 1995 Mark Hughes made an impressive 353 appearances and scored 116 goals.
The big Welshman is a striker in the classic mould of the English game, big, strong and fast with the ability to read a game instantly and deliver thunderbolt volleys and glorious match winning performances when the team needed – in short, he was perfect for Manchester United
This blog celebrates some of the most important and our favourite goals in the career of Mark Hughes
1. Cup Winners Cup Final 1991, Manchester United Vs Barcelona, May 15th 1991, Feijenoord Stadion, Rotterdam
This was an important result for English Football. Manchester United won the European Cup winners Cup to make a positive statement for English Football.
This was the first year since 1985 that English teams were allowed in the competition since the Heysel disaster
This was also the first European Cup for Manchester United in 23 years and Sir Alex’s first European Trophy for the club
Mark Hughes was the man on the score sheet, scoring both the goals that secured the win. After his brief and unsuccessful spell with Barca, its not impossible to imagine that Hughes had it in mind to prove to the club and the world exactly what the Spanish Giants had missed out on. Scoring in quick succession with goals in the 67th and 74th minutes. Firstly, by ensuring that Steve Bruce’s header on goal was in the back of the net and secondly with a fantastic strike from the edge of the area.
Mark Hughes placed himself in Manchester United history in that game alone
We Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Cup Winners Cup with some very special events in 2021
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2. FA Cup Semi-Final 1994, Manchester United Vs Oldham, April 10th 1994, Wembley Stadium, London
Everyone’s favourite Mark Hughes goal. Once again Sparky had the knack for scoring important goals for Manchester United and this Semi-final volley was the perfect example of his ability to step up to the occasion for Manchester United
1994 has gone down in history as one of the most important years in modern Manchester United History, Sir Alex Ferguson was starting to position himself as one of the nations greatest ever managers and his Manchester United team were on course to win an historic Premier League and FA Cup double. But Oldham Athletic were putting up a fight that would have halted United’s FA Cup ambitions
There was a deadlock for the majority of the game with both teams failing to get on the scoresheet. Which meant the match would go to a replay, as the game went into extra time, in the 106th minute Lactics legend Neil Pointon scored and but Oldham on course for an FA Cup final having beaten the mighty Man Utd who were the reigning Champions and on course for back-to-back titles
The clock was ticking and the FA Cup very nearly gave another giant killing upset – but Mark Hughes was never phased by the pressure and one minute before the final whistle went hammered home an incredible volley to level the score and secure a replay, keeping United in the competition. In the replay Manchester United defeated Oldham with a comfortable 4-1 win and went on to win the FA Cup for the first time since 1990
3. FA Cup Final 1990, Manchester United Vs Crystal Palace, 12th May 1990, Wembley Stadium, London
The 1990 FA Cup would prove to be the first (of many) trophies that Sir Alex Ferguson would win as manager of Manchester United, and true to form it was Mark Hughes placing his name on the score sheet and keeping United in the running for the trophy
Palace scored first in the 18th minute, putting Manchester United on the backfoot early on. Captain Marvel Bryan Robson leveled the score in the 35th with a bullet header. In the 62nd minute Mark Hughes put United ahead for the first time in the match and on the road to winning the trophy. 10 minutes later Crystal Palace sub Ian Wright (who had only been on the pitch for 3 minutes) scored to once again bring the score line level and then again, as the game went into extra time Wright scored in the 92nd minute to give Palace the lead once more and it seemed like they would be winning their first ever FA Cup from their first ever FA Cup final appearance. Manchester United pressured for the remainder of the game with Palace keeper Nigel Martyn producing an incredible save against Paul Ince’s attempt on goal – but it was Mark Hughes in the 116th minute running onto Ince’s through ball and scoring a typically outstanding and important goal to end the game in a 3-3 draw
This led to an FA Cup Final replay, where Lee Martin scored the second goal of his Manchester United career and finally secured a trophy for the era of Sir Alex Ferguson
4. Manchester United Vs Liverpool, 18th October 1993, Old Trafford, Manchester
One of the biggest rivalries in British sport with the two most successful teams in English Football history. This is the stage where legends are made and big game players shine. It has been said many times that players can struggle to ‘cross the white line’ and step up to play for Manchester United. Mark Hughes is someone that personifies the never say die, match winning spirit of the Red Devils
It was looking like this clash was going in Liverpool’s favour as Don Hutchinson opened scoring at 23 minutes, followed by Ian Rush just before the break at 44 minutes.
2-0 down with only 12 minutes to go Mark Hughes runs onto to Clayton Blackmores pass, sees Bruce Grobbelaar off his line and with one touch, just outside the area, lobs the keeper to put Manchester United back in the game.
2-1 and in the 90th minute Hughes strikes again and earns a vital point to Manchester United and prevents bragging rights going to the bitter rivals of Liverpool
5. World Cup Qualifier, Wales Vs Spain, 30th April 1985, The Racecourse, Wrexham
This has to be the greatest goal in the career of Mark Hughes, in a career marked with incredible volley and powerful strikes, choosing the best is a difficult task, but when representing his country against the runners-up of Euro 1984 Mark Hughes showed exactly what made him a formidable striker
Wales had a new and exciting strike partnership in Ian Rush and Mark Hughes and this was the night they proved what they could do. Ian Rush scored in the 44th and 88th minutes, but it was the wonder strike from Sparky that got the world talking. In the 53rd minute Hughes delivered what can only be described as a ‘mid air scissor kick’ lifting his body in the air and hammering home the ball past the Spanish keeper
Spain didn’t stand a chance
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