Brian Hughes' Memories


Brian made 403 appearances for Margate during the 1960's - the highest total of any post-World War II goalkeeper for the club and enough to put him in sixth place in the post-war appearance rankings at the time of writing...

Brian in 1968 Brian with Margate FC's Peter Cove in February 2014 Brian at his piano in February 2014

What is your full name and date and place of birth ?
Brian William Hughes, 15th July 1941, Gillingham, Kent.

What is your marital Status?
Married to Suzanne since 1966 - 48 years.

Do you have children ?
A son named Scott and a daughter called Tracey.

Did / do any of your family play football ?
No but my son Scott played ice hockey for Gillingham-based teams including Medway Bears and Invicta Dynamos.

Where do you live now ?
Walderslade, near Chatham in Kent.

What is your occupation now ?
Retired fitness instructor.

What was your occupation during your time with Margate ?
Coded welder at the Isle of Grain oil refinery.

How did you come to join Margate ?
I was number two keeper at Sittingbourne to Lenny Round and was recommended to Margate manager Almer Hall by Margate's chairman Billy Graham.

What do you remember about your Margate debut ?
Lost 1-0 at home to Wisbech and then won my second game 3-2 against Rugby at Hartsdown Park. During that match I got a roasting from full-back Bill Parry who said to me "Get your finger out !".

What were the highlights of your Margate career ?
The FA Cup games - particularly the 3-0 away win at Bournemouth in 1961. Others included ties against Notts County, Millwall, Peterborough and Brentford.

What were the highlights of your entire career ?
1) The Bournemouth FA Cup tie for Margate.

2) Scoring a goal from one end to the other for Tonbridge against Poole Town - I cleared the ball from my hands and it took two bounces on the way into the other goal.

3) Playing for Tonbridge under manager George Cohen who was a full-back in England's World Cup winning side of 1966. 

Who was the best player you played with at Margate ?
Bob Harrop - the most consistent centre-back that I ever played behind.

Who was the best player you played against whilst with Margate ?
John Charles during his spells with Hereford and Merthyr, Jeff Astle when he was with Weymouth.

Who was the best player you played with during your whole career ?
Bob Harrop - Mr Ever-Consistent.

Who was the best player you played against during your whole career ?
John Charles.

Who was / were your best friend(s) during your time with Margate ?
Bill Parry and Jimmy Fletcher - we used to all travel down together from Gillingham.

Do you still keep in contact with any of your old Margate team-mates ?
Unfortunately no.

What was the best stadium you played in during your entire career ?
Arsenal's Highbury, but only for half a trial game.

What ground(s) did you most enjoy playing at during your time at Margate ?
Dover's Crabble ground.

And which ground(s) did you least like ?
Crawley and Barry Town. 

Who was the best manager you played under (and at which club) ?
George Cohen at Tonbridge.

Who was the biggest influence on your football career ?
Myself - I was self-taught and self-motivated. Later on I admired Peter Shilton.

What was your favourite / best Margate goal ?
I was a goalkeeper and as a keeper you don't like conceding goals !

What was the best goal you saw another Margate player score ?
A 40-yard screamer from Bryan Clifton. 

Do you keep an eye on Margate's progress / results and if so what do you think ?
Yes, I look out for all my old clubs scores.

Did you have a nickname during your career / time at Margate ?

What honours did you win during your career ?
Southern League First Division, Kent Senior Cup, Kent Floodlight Cup and Kent Senior Shield - all with Margate.

Do you ever watch Margate now or, if not, when was the last time you saw them ?
Not recently but will be in the near future. Last time, I think, was 1997.

Who were the real characters at Margate during your time with the club ?
Arthur Blackley - a charmer with the ladies.

Can you recall any funny moments from your time at Margate ?
Keeping goal down the Tivoli Park end somebody from the crowd threw a lighted cigarette end into my cap that was in the corner of the goal which set light to it. Also, on the way to play at Merthyr we changed trains at Newport and I got chatting to some Canterbury players at the station - they were on their way to play at Barry. I missed the Margate's teams connecting train and got left behind. 

Do you have any regrets about your football career ?
I went to Arsenal as a 16 year-old and was signed up. I played in some South Eastern Counties League matches and was asked to re-sign for a second season as an amateur but instead I signed for Gillingham as a semi-professional. Asking Arsenal to release me was the biggest mistake I made .

What do you think about the website ?
I found the site thoroughly enjoyable, being able to relive so many happy memories of the time I spent with Margate - a club that means so much to me.

Added to the site in February 2014 and a huge thank you goes to Peter Cove who made it his mission to track down Brian and then took the notes for this page for me.