Great character Mike 'Shorty' Hughes passes away

Angle Football Club, Pembroke Cricket Club and Pembrokeshire Sport in general lost a genuine character last week with the passing away of Mike Hughes, aged 75, who was affectionately known as 'Shorty' to his many sporting friends around the county.

Mike joined school friend Peter Thomas and a couple of others in forming Angle AFC and it was with evident pride that he saw the club develop into a first division outfit; eventually having its own excellent playing surface and splendid clubhouse/changing rooms, which were celebrated with a series of special matches last year

Totally immersed in Angle AFC . . .

In his younger days he used to play anywhere, often in midfield but equally at home in goal, where I once saw him make a save in a final at London Road which any keeper would have been proud of as he somehow stretched to the limit to tip a goal-bound shot over the bar.

Off the field he was secretary and treasurer, keeping meticulous records of every match so that every Angle player could tell you how many games they had played, how many goals and other interesting details from their fixtures.

He also developed, along with Peter Thomas, a family ethos where few players came to the club and didn't stay, with loads of them having played 500+ games and Haydn Phillips topping the poll with over 1,000 matches, and still helping out now when he is 61!

"Mike was 'Mr Angle," said Haydn, "and I wouldn't have dared say I was thinking of leaving - he was such a strong character.

“He was a real competitor but woe betides any of his players who over-stepped the mark, on or off the field!”

. . . And a staunch cricket man at Pembroke too

Kevin Jenkins, another long-serving player at Angle who was also a long-time skipper at Pembroke Cricket Club, added,

" 'Shorty' was an absolute star who not only battled every inch at Treleet but helped his old pal Brian Smith on the pitch - and respected by all at the club for his approach to the game."

Personal note

On a personal note, when I was captain at Pembroke CC he was my vice-captain and knew that if I asked for advice I would always get it - even if it wasn't quite what I wanted to hear!"

When I started out my 'Sports Folio' articles in the old West Wales Guardian he was in the first four I asked about featuring - and that was a measure of how much I thought of him.

As the Rev Peter Jones said in the packed Monkton Church and Narberth Crematorium, 'Shorty' was a one-off because what you saw was what you got, whether it was as a team mate or redoubtable opponent, superb administrator or friend, he was never afraid to voice an opinion, especially on sport.

He got it absolutely right!

Our thoughts at this sad time go out to his wife June, daughters Jenny, Helen and Sharon, plus the rest of a close-knit family!