chris hughton - fact file

1979 - 1990            defender
1993 - 2007            coach/assistant manager


Born on 11th December 1958 in Forest Gate, London, England.

Height : - .m

Weight : -  - kgs

A Spurs man through and through, Chris Hughton was one of the classiest players to play left-back for Tottenham and then went on to give great service to the club as a coach for the best part of 35 years.

Born in Forest Gate, East London, Chris came from a footballing family with his brother Henry also making the grade at Leyton Orient.  Attended the local St. Bonaventure's Secondary School, which also produced John Chiedozie and Jermain Defoe, where Chris was chosen from to play in the Newham Boys side.

Joining Spurs as a junior, Hughton kept on with his apprenticeship as a lift engineer while making his way through the ranks at the club.  A regular in the Youth side, Chris signed as a part-time professional at the end of May 1977 (while he continued his studies), training on Tuesday and Thursday nights and he forced his way into the side at a young age and showing pace to get forward and in recovery, he established his name on the team-sheet on a regular basis for many a year.  Originally a winger, Hughton was converted to a defender where his pace came in useful.  Chris was able to fill in on either side of the defence, with an ability to use either foot, there was evidence of his former position of a winger when he got forward, as he was capable of delivering the ball for strikers to get on the end of and could also finish with great aplomb, giving him a good scoring record for a full back.  A good reader of the game and a tenacious tackler, Chris kept his attacking instincts and loved to overlap, linking up well with fellow Republic of Ireland international Tony Galvin on the left flank.  His younger years saw him all arms and legs as he sprinted up the line, but his effectiveness could not be questioned.

Chris made his debut against Manchester United in 1979 and soon established himself as a regular in the side, with his polished displays.  Went on to be a major player in the successful team of the early 1980s winning the FA Cup twice and the UEFA Cup.  In the FA Cup Final of 1981 at Wembley, which Chris regards as one of his memorable matches, he got two front teeth kicked out by team-mate Graham Roberts in the replay as he ducked to head a ball that Roberts went to kick clear.

A great student of politics off the field, Chris was a learner through all of his career at Tottenham on it, with an appreciation of the finer parts of how the game should be played, as you might expect with team-mates such as Steve Perryman, Ossie Ardiles, Glenn Hoddle and Garth Crooks.  His learning was to be put to good use in the years to come. 

With further success in the FA Cup of 1982 and the UEFA Cup in 1984, there were times when things didn't turn out as planned, like the 1982 League Cup Final and the 1987 FA Cup Final.  But the consistency of Hughton's play marked him out a a player of quality and he was not only successful on the domestic scene, but also became a regular in the Republic of Ireland side of the 1980s.  The performances impressed watching Republic of Ireland manager Eoin Hand, who gave Chris his international debut to make him the first black player to represent the country.  Hughton went on to make 53 appearances for his national side (qualified to play for the Republic through his mother) and he score done goal, against the USA in a friendly.

Having given great service to Tottenham with great performances throughout the 1980s, Hughton left Spurs and moved closer to his birthplace with a transfer to West Ham United in November 1990 where he played for two years making 32 appearances (plus one as a substitute).  His stay at Upton Park was short and he moved on again, this time across London to Brentford, where he played for a season before retiring with a knee injury.

That was in 1993 and making progress in taking his coaching badges, Chris returned to Tottenham, where he took over the Reserve team and was responsible for bringing through the talented young players from the Youth system.  His ability in this field was soon recognised and he has served as assistant manager to several Spurs managers and he stepped in as a caretaker manager for one game (a 0-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace on 24th November 1997) between appointments.  Was also appointed as Republic of Ireland assistant manager under Brian Kerr between 2003 and 2005.

Many people claim that his role is nothing more than a nominal one, but he is a highly regarded coach and has developed a great understanding with Martin Jol since he took over as Head Coach, with the team reaping the benefits with two successive fifth place finishes (2005-06 and 2006-07) and good cup runs in the latter of those two season too, as the club strives to break into the top four in the country.

Finally removed from his post when Jol was sacked, but soon was back in work as assistant manager at Newcastle United and stood in as caretaker

Serving at Spurs under ten different managers and taking the role on a caretaker basis between some of their tenures, but was never given the chance to take the reins full-time and when Martin Jol was unceremoniously dismissed in November 2007, Hughton's time at Tottenham came to a sad end. 

However, this gave Hughton the opportunity to gain a place at another club for himself and Newcastle United was his destination, where he was first appointed as a coach in February 2008 under Kevin Keegan, but then became assistant manager and when the team were struggling near the bottom of the Premier League in August 2008, the caretaker's job before Joe Kinnear took over as interim manager.  When Kinnear needed heart surgery, Hughton was once more in charge, but this time Alan Shearer was given the job until the end of the season, so Chris returned to his assistant's post.  However, with Newcastle being relegated and Shearer not willing to take the post full-time, Hughton was given the job temporarily and then permanently, with Colin Calderwood, who had joined him from Nottingham Forest as a coach.  In his first full season in charge, he guided Newcastle back to the Premier League as Championship champions, but was sacked by the club halfway through their first season back in the top flight.

Found a new post at Birmingham City, as manager of the recently relegated Midlands club and teamed up with Colin Calderwood again, when the latter was sacked by Hibernian and moved to St. Andrews as Hughton's assistant.  They did well on very tight budgets to take the team to the play-offs, but fell at the semi-final stage and the Bluenoses did not stand in Chris' way when Norwich City made an approach and he was installed as the new manager on 7th June 2012. 

When he hit a run of poor results at Carrow Road, he was sacked in April 2014 and faced with a number of offers of assistant manager roles at Premier League clubs, Chris found a new home for his managerial talent at Brighton & Hove Albion in the Championship in December of that year.  Within two and a half years, Brighton won automatic promotion to the Premier League, where they established themselves as a team comfortable in the top flight.  Such was his success with the Seagulls that he became the first black manager ot win the Manager of the Month award for February 2018.

Chris' brother Henry played for Leyton Orient and his son Cian was with Spurs and then Lincoln City.




Career Record
Club Signed Fee Debut Apps Goals
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR   - 29th August 1979   (H) v Manchester United (League Cup R2 - First leg)  won 2-1 389 + 9 as a sub 19
West Ham United November 1990 - 3rd November 1990 (A) v  Notts. County  () Won 1-0  33 0
Brentford March 1992 - - 32 -

Career Record
293 + 4 as a sub League appearances; 12 goals
34 + 2 as a sub FA Cup appearances; 1 goal
33 + 2 as a sub League Cup appearances; 2 goals
29 + 1 as a sub European appearances; 4 goals
West Ham United
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals

- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals

Republic of Ireland international
53 full caps;  1 goal
?? Under-21 caps; ?? goals
FA Cup winners medal 1980-81, 1981-82 (Tottenham Hotspur)
UEFA Cup winners medal 1983-1984 (Tottenham Hotspur)
Charity Shield winners medal 1981-82 (Tottenham Hotspur)
League Cup runners-up medal 1982-83 (Tottenham Hotspur)
FA Cup runners-up medal 1986-87 (Tottenham Hotspur)

Player of the Tournament in the Club Sportif Chenois youth competition in Geneva in 1977 (THFC).

Championship League winners 2009-2010  (Newcastle United)  as manager
League Manager's Association Championship Manager of the Year 2009-10  (Newcastle United)  as manager



Favourite food : - all chicken dishes
Favourite game : -  Spurs as a player - FA Cup Final replay 1981 (First medal); Spurs as a coach - 1999 League Cup Final; Republic of Ireland -  England (European Championship finals in 1988).
Best players played with : - Glenn Hoddle and Ossie Ardiles
Best player coached : - Ledley King
Most enjoyable TV programmes : - Wildlife programmes
Pre-match meal as a player : - Egg on toast


What they said about Chris Hughton
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What Chris Hughton said about ...
... playing at Tottenham ...  21.08.1993 (THFC programme)

"I played alongside some great players in my time here, such as Steve Perryman, Steve Archibald, Glenn Hoddle and Ossie (Ardiles).  I don't think you can be anything but influenced and I hope to pass that onto the player snow in my charge. 
Also I served under several managers here and learnt from them all: Keith Burkinshaw, Peter Shreeves and David Pleat especially.  Even though I didn't play under him too often I very much admired the style of football he tried to play.

I'm firmly a believer in playing the "Tottenham Way" and I don't feel that there can be another way."

... on being called back to be the Under 21 team manager at the club ... 21.08.1993 (THFC programme)

"I have kept in touch with Ossie (Ardiles) since we were team-mates and I was also very close to the club as I still came here to watch games and many of the old faces are still here.  Therefore I was delighted when Ossie rang to offer me the job and I'm certainly enjoying the challenge."

 ... on his time coming through the ranks at Tottenham ...  21.12.2008 (Newcastle United FC programme)

"what you would regard as your footballing life, I probably spent 90% of it at Spurs. So, of course, it has a place in my heart and always will.

I never signed an apprenticeship – my route was a little bit different. I stayed on as an amateur and I did a four-year apprenticeship as an engineer. When I was 16, they felt that I had a chance but weren’t prepared at that stage to offer me an apprenticeship. But I stayed on, training two nights a week, playing in the youth team and then the reserves. Two years later they offered me professional terms … which I turned down. I signed semi-pro and continued with the last two years of my degree. The, as soon as that was finished, I signed full-time in 1977."

 ... on his time coaching at Spurs ...  21.12.2008 (Newcastle United FC programme)

"My first season was as Under-21 coach. It was something they wanted to introduce because there was a big squad, but it worked out only one game every three or four weeks.

It never really took off, so, in effect, I worked with Pat Holland, the Reserve Team Coach, which was a good learning curve for me. Later, I became Reserve coach, then First Team coach."

 ... on working under a number of managers at Spurs  ...  21.12.2008 (Newcastle United FC programme)

"They’ve all got their strengths. You’ve got Jacques Santini, who was the French national manager, Glenn Hoddle who was the England national manager and Christian Gross, my first experience working with the First Team. And even though I didn’t work with Ossie with the First Team, I’ll always be grateful to him for bringing me back to the club."

 ... on being sacked by Spurs in October 2007 ...  21.12.2008 (Newcastle United FC programme)

"At some stage I was always going to leave and it was on good terms."

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Season League FA Cup League Cup European Cup Winners Cup UEFA Cup
1979-1980 39 (1 goal) - - - -
1980-1981 34 (1 goal) - - - -
1981-1982 37 (2 goals) - - - -
1982-1983 38 (3 goals) - - - -
1983-1984 34 (3 goals) - - - -
1984-1985 31 (1 goal) - - - -
1985-1986 33 (1 goal) - - - -
1986-1987 9 (0 goals) - - - -
1987-1988 13 (0 goals) - - - -
1988-1989 21 (0 goals) - - - -
1989-1990 8 (0 goals) - - - -


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