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Paul Hughes

Norwich Career: 1998, 1999 (4 appearances, 1 goal)
Current Club: Hayes & Yeading (Southern League) (Manager)
Date of Birth: 19/04/1976 (Hammersmith, London)
Nationality: English


Chelsea's young midfielder Paul Hughes played a couple of games for Norwich's reserves during the summer of 1998 as manager Bruce Rioch sought to see if Paul would strengthen the Canary squad. Despite making 21 appearances for Chelsea, scoring twice, Paul was surplus to Gianluca Vialli's plans for Chelsea which revolved around big continental name signings (Laudrup, Ferrer, Desailly etc.). The Canaries did not pursue their enquiry at this time.

On November 10th 1998, the Independent revealed that Paul had joined Bristol City on trial. However he was not treated well at Ashton Gate and has returned to Stamford Bridge. In mid-December 1998, Paul started his third spell with a Division One side, joining Gary Megson's Stockport County on loan with a view to a permanent move.

He briefly returned to Chelsea before Bruce Rioch signed him on loan for Norwich on March 24th 1999. Paul was described by Rioch as "a playmaker and passer of the ball. Not a great tackler or prolific scorer but one who links play from back to front". He made his debut as substitute against Huddersfield on 24th March and gifted the Terriers a point with a late own goal. Although he scored the winner against Swindon, Paul was allowed to return to Chelsea in May 1999 with Bruce Rioch apparently taking no interest in signing him for the club.

In October 1999, it was rumoured that Charlton Athletic were preparing a move for Paul who was valued by Chelsea at 150,000. In December 1999, Paul joined Crewe Alexandra on trial in the hope of winning a transfer. This became a three month loan on 23rd December 1999 with the prospect of a permanent transfer once the loan spell was completed. Paul returned to Stamford Bridge at the end of January 2000 having failed to make a single appearance during his stay at Gresty Road.
On 22nd March 2000, the Evening Standard reported that Paul's former manager Glenn Hoddle was hoping to take Hughes to Southampton after he impressed in a friendly clash with Portsmouth. Previous moves had supposedly fallen through due to Hughes' wage demands but Premiership Southampton would be able to meet these. The free transfer was completed on Transfer Deadline Day (23rd March 2000). However he made no appearances for the Saints.

Paul had a trial with Burnley in July 2001 and played in their prestige friendlies against Everton and Chelsea. However he was not offered a contract. Instead he signed for Division Three side Luton.

Paul retired through injury at the end of the 2005/6 season

In 2012 he was appointed as joint manager of Kings Langley alongside Ritchie Hanlon and led them to consecutive promotions in 2014, 2015 and 2016 from the Spartan South Midlands Division One to the Southern League Premier Division.

In November 2016 Hughes and Hanlon moved to Hayes & Yeading with Hughes taking on sole responsibility from 2017. They finished 3rd in the Isthmian League South Central Division in 2018 before securing the title the following year.

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This page on Flown From The Nest was last updated on and is © Steve Whitlam 1997-2013.
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