Liverpool legend Laurie Hughes passed away on Friday, Sept. 9, at 87 years old.
Born on March 2, 1924, in Liverpool, Hughes spent his entire senior career with his hometown Reds, amassing 326 appearances between his debut in 1946 and his final match in 1957.
Although he grew up in Liverpool, Hughes was initially considered too short by Liverpool scouts. He thus spent the beginning of his amateur career with Tranmere Rovers. In 1943, Liverpool managed to bring Hughes back across the River Mersey to continue his development within the Reds’ system.
Supporters will best remember Hughes for his role in the Reds’ 1946-47 title winning season, as he impressively became a first-choice center halfway into his rookie campaign. The intelligent defender did not make too many headlines for flashy play, but he was vitally important in helping to engrain a “team first” ethos into the foundation of the club. His strong leadership abilities saw him appointed club captain in 1954 and he remained a respected locker room figure through his final match in 1957, with his official retirement coming in 1960.
Hughes earned three caps with the English national side, all of which came at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, where he became the first Liverpool player to feature in the World Cup.
Hughes will be fondly remembered as a true club icon whose tremendous ability on the pitch was exceeded only by his character off it.