Chris Hughton - 'Everyone wants to see it as a good spectacle'
By Rob Brennan
Kick It Out ambassador Chris Hughton has called on Ireland and England supporters to concentrate on football rather than politics at Wembley tonight (29 May).
The Norwich City boss who wrote a column for the Workers’ Revolutionary Party publication News Line during his playing days is hopeful the match will be remembered for the right reasons this time round, following violence in the stands the last time the two teams met at Lansdowne Road in 1995.
He said: “I think everyone wants to see it as a good spectacle. Certainly I think it will be a very good game and I think everybody just wants to see a fair spectacle where there are no crowd problems and the game just runs smoothly.
“I think that this game will take place again in the future so hopefully this one doesn’t involve any trouble.”
Born in East London to an Irish mother and a Ghanaian father, the 54-year-old who played for Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Brentford, was on the Irish bench the last time the two countries met at Wembley back in 1991.
The former Newcastle United manager ended that night at The National in Kilburn and expects the Irish team to be fired up for the match with Roy Hodgson’s men.
He said: “I played against England at Euro 88 and in two friendly matches – they are the type of games you want to play in.
“It’s always a massive occasion and I’m delighted to see it back. It has been a long time now since we last played and there are so many links between the two countries, families and so on – it’s really good to see it back.”
Hughton was speaking after the recent Afcar The Game match at Brentford FC which saw a Caribbean XI take on an African XI.
The former Bee was delighted to have been asked to manage the African side despite losing on penalties when Fabrice Muamba missed the last spot kick.
He said: “I was asked a while back and I’m glad I had the opportunity to take part. I know Jason Roberts very well and the Sodje brothers – it has been a wonderful local and community day and most importantly it is for two worthy charities.”