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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 November, 2004, 11:19 GMT
Obituary: Emlyn Hughes
By John May

Emlyn Hughes lifts the European Cup
Emlyn Hughes will be remembered as somebody who did everything to the maximum.

Whether it was as a swashbuckling footballer whose style earned him the nickname Crazy Horse, or as a television quiz show captain who rubbed shoulders with royalty, Emlyn Hughes never did things by half.

He made his name at Liverpool, making 665 appearances between 1967 and 1979, and helping establish the club as the top team in Europe, leading the side to its first European Cup.

He went on to win 62 England caps and was awarded the OBE for services to football before he left the sport for his second career, in television.

Emlyn Hughes was born in Barrow in August 1947, into a sporting family.

His father Fred played rugby league for Great Britain, as did his uncle and brother, while one of his aunts was a hockey international.

He signed for Blackpool as a teenager, but his all-action style soon brought him to the attention of Liverpool boss Bill Shankly.

The astute Shankly saw enough in Hughes to splash out the then huge sum of 65,000 for a 19-year-old who had made just 29 appearances for the Tangerines, describing him as "a future England captain".

Hughes was an archetypal Shankly player, matching skill with boundless reserves of drive, enthusiasm and battling qualities.

2 European Cups
2 Uefa Cups
4 League Championships
1 FA Cup
1 League Cup
1 European Super Cup

The versatile Hughes could slot in anywhere along the back line, or take his combative, all-action style into midfield.

Wherever he played, Hughes' performances were characterised by powerful, surging runs which earned him his nickname.

Having built his team around Hughes, Shankly handed the legacy on to successors Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan.

Hughes was the body and spirit of the all-conquering Liverpool side of the mid to late 1970s, and his reputation grew as his and Liverpool's trophy cabinets bulged.

He replaced Tommy Smith as skipper in 1973 and moved from full-back to the centre of defence to partner Phil Thompson.

Four years later, he became the first Liverpool captain to get his hands on the European Cup when he lifted the trophy in Rome after the 3-1 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Former England and Liverpool captain Emlyn Hughes
Hughes was known for his infectious grin

He took possession of the trophy again a year later following the 1-0 win over Bruges at Wembley, and he also led Liverpool to the European Super Cup.

Hughes was also able to boast five League Championship medals, two Uefa Cup winnners medals, and an FA Cup winner's gong.

Inevitably, the qualities that made him a success at Liverpool were coveted by a similarly driven man, England boss Sir Alf Ramsay.

Hughes won the first of his 62 England caps against Holland in 1969 - going on to captain his country 23 times - but his career co-incided with one of the leanest spells in the international side's fortunes and he never appeared in a World Cup.

After making 665 first-team appearances for Liverpool, Hughes extended his career when he joined Wolves in 1979 for 79,000.

Hughes' leadership qualities were still intact, and he led Wolves to a League Cup triumph in 1980, filling the gap in his trophy cabinet with the only domestic honour he had never captured at Liverpool.

62 England Caps
Captained England 23 times
1st cap v Holland 1969

He was awarded an OBE in 1980 for his services to football and after his playing days ended following spells at Hull, Mansfield and Swansea, he tried his hand at management.

Like many great players, he was unable to transfer his success to the board room, and he lasted 20 months as manager of Rotherham United.

After his dabble with management, he carved out a career for himself in the media, where his face became known to non-football fans as the cheeky, long-serving captain on BBC TV's A Question of Sport, appearing opposite fellow skipper, rugby star Bill Beaumont, from 1984 to 1987.

Hughes' wide grin and infectious laugh became one of the show's trademarks and he propelled the show into national notoriety when he put his arm round the shoulder of team member Princess Anne when she appeared on the show.

It was typical of Hughes, who would not let protocol be a barrier to what he percieved to be an act of team bonding.

After leaving A Question of Sport, Hughes continued to be one of the most eagerly sought after-dinner speakers, and was also in demand as a motivational speaker.

He was diagnosed with brain cancer in August 2003 and underwent surgery during his 15-month fight against the disease.

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