Mark Hughes on making sure the Bradford Fire is always remembered and played twice a day

Mark Hughes, as confirmed earlier this year by taking charge of a failing Bradford City in the bottom half of League Two, loves a challenge.

This willingness to face anything that appears in front of him once led the 72-game Wales striker to agree to play twice on the same day at the height of his career. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, the two matches were in two different countries.

“I just joined Bayern Munich,” Hughes told The Athletic. “My first appearance was on Saturday before and I was in a fog, so I couldn’t go home. So, I went to (Bayern Munich general manager) Uli Hoeness’s house for dinner.

“Wales was due to play Czechoslovakia in the European qualifiers a few days later and he asked when the match was due to start. It was either 3pm or 4pm.

“Bayern tied in the cup later in the day so Ole asked ‘Can you play for us in the cup at night?'” Apparently, a Danish boy named Soren Lerbee had done it before, so Ole had done it before. I should have expected him to try the same with me.

“I ended up coming back from the Wales game – actually on the pitch where Bayern were playing – and arrived in the first half.”

So did Hughes, in true Roy of the Rovers style, become an instant champion at the Olympic Stadium that day in November 1987, after speeding the 200 miles from Prague to Munich in a private jet?

“Not quite,” laughs the 58-year-old, who was handed away from Wales’ entire 2-0 defeat behind the then still in place Iron Curtain by still-wearing Lada. “Despite Bayern winning 3-2 (against Borussia Moenchengladbach) I was involved when we were a goal behind.

“I would like to tell you that I changed the game. But the win was trivial all about me.


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