Christopher William Gerard “Chris” Hughton (born 11 December 1958) is a former professional football player and current manager of Brighton & Hove Albion. In 1979, he became the first mixed race player to represent the Republic of Ireland.
After making his professional début aged 20, Hughton spent most of his playing career with Tottenham Hotspur as a left back, leaving in 1990 after 13 years. After relatively brief spells with West Ham United and Brentford, Hughton retired from playing in 1993 aged 34. He earned 53 caps representing the Republic of Ireland national football team, scoring one goal and starting in all three of Ireland’s games at UEFA Euro 1988 in West Germany.
From 1993 to 2007, Hughton served as coach and then assistant manager for Tottenham. He joined Newcastle United as first team coach in 2008, and, following their relegation, became caretaker manager. He led Newcastle back to the Premier League in his first season in charge, along the way breaking a number of records and securing the permanent managerial position. He was sacked as manager by Mike Ashley the following December, with his side 12th in the table. Hughton managed Birmingham City for a single season, leading them to 4th place in the league, before joining Norwich in June 2012. Norwich sacked Hughton in April 2014.
Newcastle United caretaker
During the off-season of 2009, owner Mike Ashley announced he was selling the club, Hughton was again left with the job of caretaker manager, when the club failed to further secure the services of Alan Shearer. This was followed by a statement from Llambias saying “Mike Ashley feels it would be unwise to appoint a team manager when the club is for sale”, leaving Hughton in charge for the start of the 2009–10 season. Hughton’s first two games in charge of the new season saw inspired performances in a 1–1 draw with West Bromwich Albion away from home and a memorable 3–0 win against Reading at home, which ended in Shola Ameobi getting his first ever hat trick. He continued Newcastle’s unbeaten start of the new season with a 1–0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday which also featured his first transfer signing of the season Danny Simpson. Hughton also signed Peter Løvenkrands and Fabrice Pancrate on free transfers and completed the loan signings of Zurab Khizanishvili and Marlon Harewood.
A positive start to the 2009–10 season saw Hughton win successive manager of the month awards for August and September and then again in November, resulting in the board naming him as the new permanent manager of the club, after two stints as caretaker. Hughton’s league start to his managerial career has been the best in Newcastle’s history. In January, Newcastle signed Mike Williamson, Wayne Routledge and Leon Best in permanent transfers and Fitz Hall and Patrick Van Aanholt on loan. On 5 April 2010, Newcastle, under Hughton’s control, confirmed their promotion back to the Premier League prior to a match against Sheffield United, after Nottingham Forest failed to win their match against Cardiff City. They then went on to win the game 2–1 with a Peter Løvenkrands penalty and a Bicycle kick from Kevin Nolan to earn them a place back in the Premier League after just one season away. Newcastle then went on to clinch the championship title on 19 April 2010 after a 2–0 victory over Plymouth Argyle, Winning 30, Drawing 12 and Losing just 4 of their 46 matches. Newcastle were unbeaten at home for the entire 2009–10 season including both cup competitions, clinching promotion in record time.
During pre-season for the 2010–11 season, Hughton signed Sol Campbell and Dan Gosling for free whilst getting James Perch for an undisclosed fee. His first home win on return to the Premier League came on 22 August, when Newcastle thrashed Aston Villa 6–0, with 3 goals from Andy Carroll, 2 goals from Kevin Nolan and 1 goal from Joey Barton. Hughton received praise for his calm management style to stabilise the club, shrewd signings and guiding Newcastle back to the Premier League. Prior to Newcastle’s 1–1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers and away win at Everton, he completed the signings of Cheick Tioté and Hatem Ben Arfa. Despite leading his newly promoted side to healthy ninth place by the end of October, unrest came when star player Andy Carroll was arrested for assault. Newcastle followed this with wins at West Ham United and a memorable 5–1 derby victory against Sunderland. Both before and after the victory Hughton received the backing of his players and the Newcastle supporters. Later in 2010, Hughton led United to their first win against Arsenal in five years, beating Arsenal 1–0 at the Emirates Stadium with an Andy Carroll header.
Hughton managing Birmingham City in 2011.
Following a 3–1 defeat at West Brom in December, Hughton became the first Premier League manager of the 2010–11 season to lose his job, as he was dismissed by Managing Director Derek Llambias. The decision was ill received by the players and the supporters, with veteran defender Sol Campbell claiming that the decision “makes no sense”, and local commentator and ex-player John Anderson saying he was “devastated and angry” by the sacking. The sacking was also condemned by Lord Alan Sugar, Colin Calderwood, and Alan Shearer. The club stated that “an individual with more managerial experience was needed to take the club forward”. Peter Fraser of Sky Sports stated that Hughton “brought calmness, dignity and respect to the Magpies’ dugout”, whilst Phil McNulty of the BBC said that “Newcastle’s followers have been loyal and grateful to Hughton” and that “Ashley will no doubt face further accusations that he is out of touch with football’s realities”. Before the match against Liverpool, on 11 December, campaigners from United For Newcastle organised a protest outside St James’ Park as an opportunity for supporters to thank Hughton and to show their anger towards Ashley’s decision.
After media speculation linking Hughton with a variety of clubs, Hughton was appointed manager of Championship club and League Cup holders Birmingham City in June 2011. In the club’s first European campaign for 50 years, he led them into the group stages of the Europa League courtesy of a 3–0 aggregate win against Portuguese side Nacional. During October, Birmingham won four and drew one of their League matches, an achievement for which Hughton was named Championship Manager of the Month. He led Birmingham to the fifth round of the 2011–12 FA Cup, drawing away at Chelsea before losing 2–0 in the replay. Hughton guided the Blues to a 4th placed finish in the Championship, qualifying for the play-offs, where they lost 3-2 over the two legs of the Semi Final against Blackpool.
At the end of the 2011–12 season Birmingham gave Norwich City permission to talk to Hughton about their vacant managerial post, and he signed for the Canaries on 7 June 2012. His first league game in charge was against Fulham, where Norwich lost 5-0, although this result was followed by memorable league victories against both Arsenal and Manchester United, as well as a League Cup victory against Tottenham Hotspur. Norwich however experienced bad form throughout the winter and towards the end of the season. Wins against West Brom and Manchester City, on the last day of the season, prevented relegation, meaning Wigan Athletic instead went down. Having battled against relegation for the whole of the season, Hughton’s first season in charge saw them finish in 11th place.
On 6 April 2014, Norwich City announced they had “parted company” with Hughton with immediate effect. At the time of his departure Norwich were in 17th place in the Premier League, one place and five points above the relegation zone. Since leaving Norwich, Hughton has been offered, and rejected, assistant manager roles at various Premier League clubs.
Brighton & Hove Albion
On 31 December 2014, Hughton was announced as the new man in charge of Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion on a three-and-a-half-year contract. His first match ended with a 2-0 win at Brentford in the 3rd round of the F.A. Cup on 3rd January 2015.
Gary A Stevens
Grease joined Brighton and Hove Albion in 1977 and made his debut as a 17-year-old on 15 September 1979, in the First Division as Brighton won 2–0 at home to Ipswich Town, the club which had released him as a schoolboy. A versatile defender who could also play in midfield he made 26 appearances in his first season, scoring once, and remained a regular in the side.
In 1983, Brighton, already relegated to the Second Division, played in the FA Cup Final for the first time in their history. Losing to Manchester United 2–1 with three minutes of normal time remaining, Stevens equalised, and team mate Gordon Smith missed an easy chance to win the game at the end of extra time, remembered for the commentator’s line “And Smith must score…” Brighton lost the replay 4–0, and Stevens joined Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of “about £350,000”.
He was also capped seven times by England, and was included in the squad for the 1986 World Cup squad.
Stevens left Spurs for Portsmouth in 1990 but persistent injuries forced him to retire in 1992. He had never fully recovered from a knee injury suffered in November 1988 when tackled by Vinnie Jones. The tackle was extremely reckless as Vinnie Jones slid into the back of Gary Stevens and followed through (much to the disgust of all on the pitch). At the time of the challenge, Gary Stevens was stood on the touchline and Vinnie Jones could easily have made a challenge from the side and played the ball out.
Following retirement he worked as a presenter for Sky Sports, and for Talksport radio in the UK, although he has since left the station.
Kuipers started his footballing career with Door Wilskracht Sterk, before moving to England in 1999 to join Bristol Rovers, where he spent 16 months.
In June 2000 he joined Brighton and Hove Albion on a free transfer, and quickly established himself as number one and became a firm fans’ favourite because of his quick reactions, stops and outgoing style. Kuipers suffered several career-threatening injuries during his time at Withdean, being injured in a car crash in 2003, and a severe shoulder injury in 2005.
Michel twice left the club on loan during his time at Brighton. He joined Hull City on loan during the 2003–04 season (before his return to Albion and subsequent car crash) and joined Boston United on loan during the 2005–06 season, to regain match fitness after recovering from his shoulder injury. In 2008, he played a big part in Brighton’s upset victory against Manchester City in the League Cup, saving Michael Balls’s effort in the penalty shoot-out.
In the 2007/08 season he was ever present in the goal playing all 46 league matches. This good form led to a new two-year contract that expired in June 2010. On 19 May 2010, he signed for fellow Sussex club Crawley Town Kuipers’ career with Crawley did not start well, being sent off twice during the first month of the season against Grimsby Town and Forest Green Rovers.
FDM joined the 2012-2013 season team during his testimonial match at The Amex on Tuesday 7th August.
Got to be deserving of legend status after serving the club loyally for some 13 years through the whole of the clubs worst years.
Famously, he was signed from Stansted for a grand and a bag of training kit! He appeared in the stripes over 350 times scoring 40+ goals. Versatility was the key to his longevity at the club after playing in many positions under God knows how many managers. Dean Wilkins released him at one time and Micky Adams brought him straight back again. He was awarded a testimonial upon his release where he went on to play for Eastbourne Borough and made his farewell in the first ever game at The Amex including scoring the very first goal at the stadium! A player that the younger generation of fans will always be a hero to.
This Ex Irish international signed from Derby for £100k was another of the late 70’s stars that took us to the promised land.
He is one of a number of players that played right through the glory years including the FA cup final in 1983. His football career was cut short by injury after he broke his leg while playing against none other than Crystal Palace in 1985. During his time with us he played for his native country 18 times scoring once.
After his career finished he remained in Sussex and took on The Witch pub in Lindfied until suffering a stroke in 2007.
Steve Foster was born 24 September 1957, in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
He started his career at Portsmouth in 1973 and played for the club until 1979 when he joined Brighton. Whilst at Brighton, Foster won three caps for England and was a member of England’s 1982 World Cup squad and was also part of the Brighton team that reached the final of the 1983 FA Cup although he missed the first game of the final through suspension.
After five seasons at Brighton, Foster was sold to Aston Villa in March 1984 however, after only eight long months at Villa Park, he was transferred to Luton Town in November 1984. At Luton, he became a rock in central defence, and captained the Hatters to the 1988 League Cup. He left Luton in 1989, and later played for Oxford United, before returning to Brighton, where he spent the last four years of his career.
Even after all these years we still sing songs about him…
“He shot, he scored, he must be Peter Ward, Peter Ward, Peter Ward….He Shot he Scored………..”
We signed him from then non-league Burton Albion back in 1975 for £4k, making his debut against Hereford. scoring after just one minute. It was in the 1976/77 season that he really made his name scoring a club record 36 goals during that season. Peter did get a call up for the national side but only made a 5 minute cameo appearance earning his one and only cap. He helped us reach the top division for the one and only time in our history, but moved on soon after to Nottingham Forest in a muti swap deal involving Garry Birtles going to Man Utd, Andy Ritchie coming to us and Wardy going to play under Brian Clough. Things never really worked out for him under Cloughie and we had him back on loan for a short spell before he ended up playing in the American league. He still lives in the USA but when back in the country he does drop by to check out our games. I remember watching him play in the flesh as a young boy and absolutely idolised the man. Thanks for the memories Peter.