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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 November, 2004, 12:25 GMT
Football pays tribute to Hughes
Former Liverpool and England great Emlyn Hughes
They called him Crazy Horse and that's exactly what he was
Terry McDermott
Friends and former Liverpool players have paid tribute to Emlyn Hughes, who has died from a brain tumour aged 57.

Former Reds captain and manager Graeme Souness told BBC Radio Five Live: "He was an absolute legend. When I went to Liverpool he was the main man.

"He was a wonderful player and a fantastic example to everyone. He was the best person to learn from and a larger than life character.

"Football will definitely miss him - he was a legend."

Former Liverpool and England goalkeeper Ray Clemence said: "We still have the old boys' association, we still have that closeness.

"It's a very sad day, one of the greats of a great Liverpool side is no longer with us.

Phil Neal told BBC Radio Five Live Hughes was an inspirational figure in the club's success in the 1970s and 80s.

"His character rubbed off on us all. I came in as an inexperienced player and he was so effervescent," he said.

"He used to drive me on a Friday to meet up with the team bus for an away game and he would convince me we would win 2-0 - just like Shankly would have done. He never dreamt of losing any game."

Former Reds midfielder Terry McDermott remembers Hughes as a "bundle of joy".

"He absolutely adored playing football. He would just give 110%," he said.

"They called him Crazy Horse and that's exactly what he was. He never stopped, he was up and down the pitch, cajoling everyone. He'll not be forgotten."

John Toshack, who made his name as a Liverpool striker in the 1970s, told BBC Radio Five Live that Hughes would have played an outstanding role in any dressing room.

"I have been in management for 25 years and all over Europe. I would have been very pleased to have had Emlyn in any of my squads.

"In our Liverpool days, if you were feeling low on confidence, you needed a player like him in your side. The bigger the game, the better he was."

BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson said Hughes, who captained England 23 times and won two European Cups and four league titles with Liverpool, was one of the sport's true greats.

He said: "He was a really great player, quite obviously, because otherwise you wouldn't win so many caps for England.

"He was also larger than life - a fantastic person to go to the races with because he knew everyone."

John Barnwell, who brought Hughes to Wolves in 1979, said: "The greatest thing Emlyn had was enthusiasm.

"He would make a cup of tea better than anyone, he could play snooker better than anyone, his opinion was always better than yours - that was the character of Emlyn.

"We made him captain and he said it was one of his proudest moments, to lift the League Cup for Wolves."

Liverpool Football Club, who will hold a minute's silence in honour of Hughes before the Carling Cup tie against Middlesbrough at Anfield on Wednesday, paid their tribute in a statement on their website.

He had an infectious laugh, wasn't afraid to laugh at himself and was a great team man
Bill Beaumont

"Those lucky enough to see him play will recall his boundless enthusiasm, 100% commitment and unrelenting passion for the club whenever he had the Liver Bird close to his chest.

"Signed in 1967 by Bill Shankly, he was to be one of the most inspirational signings this club ever made."

Chief executive Rick Parry said: "Our deepest sympathies go out to wife Barbara, children Emma and Emlyn junior, and the rest of the family at this sad time."

Hughes, who also played for Rotherham, Blackpool, Hull, Mansfield and Swansea, went on to make his mark in television as a captain on the BBC's A Question of Sport quiz show.

His rival captain Bill Beaumont, the former England rugby union captain, said: "He had an infectious laugh, wasn't afraid to laugh at himself and was a great team man."

And football fans have been paying their tributes to Hughes on the 606 message boards.

Graham McCann spoke for all Liverpool and Wolves fans when he said: "In infants school, I got my mum to sew a number six on the back of my tiny red footie shirt.

"You didn't need to pay for the name in those days. Everyone knew whose shirt it was meant to be."

But Hughes was not just popular with Liverpool and Wolves fans, as one un-named fan highlighted:

The fan said: "Not just a loss to Liverpool, or even England, but a great loss to football.

"One of those players who everyone admired, one of those few people on TV who everyone enjoyed."

Interview: Former England player Phil Neal

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