Leeds Leeds Leeds

Andy Hughes Is Fucking Brilliant

These pictures embody everything that makes Andy Hughes who he is. After four years at Leeds United with 139 appearances to his name, the club and Hughes mutually agreed it was time for him to move on.

I make no  apologies for the fact that I love Andy Hughes, if you don’t feel remotely touched by his contribution to Leeds United or any other club, I suggest you close the tab and sod off.

Hughes himself is the first to admit that he is not in any position to improve the standing of Leeds United in terms of the league table but none-the-less, his departure has had a profound effect on Leeds fans across the country. No one was under any illusions about Hughes’ ability, not  least the man himself but despite his obvious technical limitations, he never let that affect the type of footballer he is.

In the 21st century, the mould of the typical footballer is not one Hughes fits into. A humble and honest gentleman whose style was of 100% effort, the 33 year-old probably belongs in the the 1970’s when football was played for the love and not the money. His admission that his move to Scunthorpe took a matter of minutes to sort out is typical of the man who is just thankful to have ever had the honour to play professional football.

The fact is, Hughes can’t talk highly enough about Leeds United and everyone connected at the club, and while no one expected Roberto Carlos-like performances, we all knew what we were getting from him. Leaving the tekkers to the likes of Rob Snodgrass and Max Gradel, Hughes concentrated on giving every ounce of effort in every game.

After every game he made the effort to thank the fans for their support, home and away while others skidded off down the tunnel. After one match this season which we lost – I forget which, instead of the disappearing act down the tunnel, he was too embarrassed to take the applause from the fans, humbled by the support but in a show of humility, almost gesturing to say ‘we don’t deserve you’.

There are players at clubs all over the world who are happy to sit around and play in the reserves, picking up up a hefty pay packet but when it comes to Hughes, there was never a question he would become one of them. He strikes you as  man who would struggle with nothing to do and would always need to be busy. A player who showed how much  it meant to play for Leeds on every occasion, who genuinely appreciated playing… When we think back to the likes of Jermaine Beckford who was derided by the clubs own fans for not trying hard enough despite the amount of crucial goals he scored, it goes to prove how much pure commitment is the staple for fans appreciation. Hughes though could never have that levelled at him and for that, he will always be loved.

Having signed for Leeds during one of the lowest points in our history, Hughes has been one of the mainstays in the team ever since. He may not have set the world alight but he played in a promotion winning side for most of the season, and was involved in some of our most memorable cup matches in our recent history. His grit and determination won him a place in at the club and endeared him to every manager he played under.

For me, seeing the explosion of passion as we beat Bristol Rovers to gain promotion was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had following Leeds. Bradley Johnson being held aloft may well have made the headline picture in most of the newspapers the following day but nothing was more raw than Hughes as he was held by ecstatic fans on the Elland Road pitch. No one did the salute in a more frenzied and slightly odd manner that day than our Hughes.

Upon leaving Leeds, he openly expressed how honoured he was to have been involved with the club with himself now a  lifelong fan as well as his daughter and it is heartening to know Hughes meant as much to us, as we did to him.

(Hear the full interview here from Yorkshire Radio: http://bit.ly/eXBmiu )

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One thought on “Andy Hughes Is Fucking Brilliant

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Andy Hughes Is Fucking Brilliant « Jenber's Blog -- Topsy.com

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