Mike 'Shorty' Hughes - a terrific character with Angle AFC and Pembroke CC


1984 Sports Folios Revisited – Article Two:


Mike Hughes showing off a new club shirtEveryone in local football knew Mike Hughes as ‘Shorty’ but there is no doubting the fact that he was a big man in terms of character and someone whose work for football in Angle and cricket in Pembroke, until he sadly died in March 2018, ensured that he was well-known and hugely remembered across the county.
He and his old pal Peter Thomas were the key movers in Angle establishing a football team in such a small village and Peter can still be seen watching their beloved club, now happily restored to the Manderwood Pembrokeshire Football League after a year’s absence.
His total commitment was the main reason why I asked Shorty to be an early subject for ‘Sports Folio’ and after some appropriate comments from Haydn Phillips and Kevin Jenkins we print the original article which you will hopefully enjoy and appreciate one of local sports most genuine characters . . .

Haydn is still involved at Angle – and misses Shorty on the touchline

We spoke to Haydn Phillips, who was also heavily involved in both clubs and is now Angle AFC’s hon treasurer who played his final first-team game when he was 62 and can rightly be proud of the fact that he played 912 games.
How does he know that to be the exact number? Easy. Shorty kept a record of every match in his little black books from the outset and such was the spirit within the club that the number who played over 50 matches for Angle was well into double figures – a remarkable fact when lots of players these day flit from club to club in search of silverware!
“Mike lived and breathed football at Angle and was secretary and treasurer for a lot of the time. Helped tend our excellent pitch and was the mainstay of our successful attempt to build the superb changing rooms and clubhouse on the outskirts of the village.
“He negotiated the permissions needed to get it done and was hugely involved in the complex applications for grants – and the title ‘Mr Angle AFC’ didn’t do justice to the immense part he played in us going right through the divisions to the top echelon.”

Mike with Angle co-founder Peter Thomas

‘Jenks’ echoes that appreciation at Pembroke too

 Echoing that appreciation is Kevin Jenkins, who also played over 600 games for his only club before injury ended his playing days in football but still watches the club whenever work allows now.
“Shorty was also amazing at Pembroke and like me captained the club in a Harrison-Allen Final – but was also involved in helping his old pal Brian Smith keep the Treleet Ground in immaculate condition.
“What I loved best about him was his ability to give great support to anyone – but certainly wasn’t afraid to speak his mind whenever the need arose. He would have been horrified when we had to stop playing for a season but delighted that thanks to the hard work of coaches Andrew Thomas and Adrian Davies, assisted by Jansen Parsley, our young team is more than holding its own in the fifth division and we are looking to move up the divisions as they gain in experience.
“Andrew, who is Peter’s son, plays in goal to help out despite being over 50 and is another member of the ‘500+ Club’ along with others like Roy, Hughie, Terry and Tony Richards, Kenny Chadwick, Robert and Roland Lewis, Kevin Winstone and others.
“Shorty was a one off who got involved after he married June, who was an Angle girl, and was a genuine one-off in terms of commitment and dedication.”

And finally . . .

We at PembrokeshireSport.co.uk could pay Mike ‘Shorty’ Hughes no higher tribute but can only echo their thoughts with regard to Pembroke Cricket because when we had both stepped down for first team cricket and I captained the seconds for three years I made sure that he was my vice-captain because I loved his attitude to sport and his ability to help me get the best out of players from novice teenagers through to some crusty old-timers!

Mike with the 2011 Angle team

Sports Folio, March 1984 – Mike ‘Shorty’ Hughes

Ask anyone involved in local football and Angle Football Club and it is a fair bet that the first name mentioned will be its poplar secretary Mike Hughes, who is known to most of them by his friendly nickname of ‘Shorty’ and it is soon clear that his knowledge of local football is held in very high regard,.
Although he previously played for Pembroke Borough he is very much an Angle Boy now and has been secretary since 1969.- and typical of his commitment is the fact that each week he sells over £40 of tickets for the village’s draw, which the football club gets a share from.

Played 750 games – with 200 of them coming after he had ‘retired’!

Ask Mike how many games he played in the local game and he could pinpoint the exact number because he’s always been a great one for keeping records – and he has continued that at the club as each week he records not only the scores but comments on performances and there is no doubt that in years to come others at Angle will find them fascinating.
He played in over 750 games for Angle, with over 200 of them coming after he had officially retired in 1979, appearing mainly in midfield but even playing in goal when the need arose and showing his surprising ability from a 5 feet 5 inch frame to keep goal-bound shots out of his net!

Married into Angle and its sport – and played rugby too

Mike has achieved success in his adopted village (his wife June came from there and they have three daughters in Jennifer, Helen and Sharon) having played in the second, third and fourth division finals and only missed out on a ‘Grand Slam’ because when he was with Pembroke Borough they reached the Senior Cup Final but he missed it because of injury, one of his few regrets in the game.
Mike attended the old Coronation School but spent his final year at St Clears when his father worked there, and Shorty played hooker in a team that also included Delme Thomas, the famous second row for Llanelli and Wales, as well as another well-known local rugby man in Malcolm Protheroe.

Loves cricket too – and steam railways!

His other sporting interest is cricket and he is a staunch member of Pembroke Cricket Club, having captained them in a defeat in the Harrison-Allen Bowl Final against Cresselly. He is a reliable middle-order batsman and played for the county – and outside his sport he is an avid reader and steam engine enthusiast who has spent many happy hours with his groundsman pal Brian Smith in seeking out old railway lines in the county – and rumour has it that they have shares in the Severn Valley Railway!

And finally . . .

Mike is a qualified football referee and cricket umpire because he believes in putting something back into his sport – and if League Secretary Eddie Oliver is short of a referee he can always call on Mike, as long as Angle haven’t already roped him in to do the job!
He is a popular man in club houses because he loves nothing better after matches than a chat with the opposition over a pint – and is well-known for his dry sense of humour and ready, earthy wit.
Ask Mike what his remaining sporting ambitions are and his answers will generally revolve around Angle and his desire to improve the facilities there at Angle Meadow in Windmill Lane – and if his drive and enthusiasm are anything to go by then these ambitions will be achieved sooner, rather than later!

The original Sports Folio featuring Mike Hughes published in West Wales Guardian in 1984