John Hughes (footballer, born 1964)

John Hughes (born 9 September 1964) is a Scottish professional football coach and former player.

John Hughes
Hughes in 2009
Personal information
Full name John Hughes[1]
Date of birth (1964-09-09) 9 September 1964 (age 56)
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Position(s) Defender
Youth career
–1988 Newtongrange Star
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1989 Berwick Rangers 41 (14)
1989–1990 Swansea City 24 (4)
1989Alloa Athletic (loan) 5 (0)
1990–1995 Falkirk 134 (7)
1995–1996 Celtic 31 (2)
1996–2000 Hibernian 72 (4)
2000–2002 Ayr United 48 (2)
2002–2005 Falkirk 79 (5)
Total 434 (38)
Teams managed
2003–2009 Falkirk[2]
2009–2010 Hibernian
2012 Livingston
2012–2013 Hartlepool United
2013–2016 Inverness Caledonian Thistle
2017 Raith Rovers
20202021 Ross County
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Hughes played primarily as a central defender for several clubs, including Falkirk, Celtic, Hibernian and Ayr United. Towards the end of his playing career, Hughes took on coaching responsibilities, and was appointed manager of Falkirk in 2003 (initially as co-manager with Owen Coyle). Hughes guided Falkirk to promotion to the Scottish Premier League and a Scottish Cup Final during his time in charge. He eventually left Falkirk to take up the managerial role at Hibernian in 2009, but left by mutual consent after sixteen months.

Hughes was appointed manager of Livingston in February 2012, but left in November to take over at English club Hartlepool United. He departed Hartlepool in May 2013 after being unable to prevent their relegation to League Two. Hughes was appointed manager of Inverness Caledonian Thistle in December 2013. He led the club to their first major silverware with the Scottish Cup in May 2015, and their first foray into European football, before he left in May 2016. Hughes then had a brief stint with Raith Rovers, which ended in them being relegated to Scottish League One. His next spell as a manager was with Ross County, where he managed to help them avoid relegation.

Playing career

Hughes is "one of six kids from the classic, working-class family" in Leith.[3] He started his playing career in junior football with Newtongrange Star,[4] before beginning his senior career with Berwick Rangers, where he played as a striker. After a brief stint in the Football League with Swansea City, Hughes established himself as a central defender at Falkirk.

His playing career peaked when he signed for Celtic in 1995.[3] He scored a late, headed equaliser in the Old Firm derby against Rangers at Ibrox on 17 March 1996.

He subsequently played for his local club Hibernian, Ayr United and finally returned to Falkirk in a joint player and coaching role.

Hughes shares his name with former Celtic, Crystal Palace and Sunderland player John 'Yogi' Hughes. As a result, Hughes is often referred to as 'Yogi' himself.[3] He famously performed a streak during his first stint at Falkirk whilst team-mate Mo Johnston was being interviewed for STV's Scotsport.[5]

Coaching career


Hughes landed his first managerial job in 2003, when he and Owen Coyle were appointed co-managers of Falkirk. Coyle subsequently left Falkirk to join Ian McCall at Dundee United, leaving Hughes in sole charge. He then guided Falkirk to promotion to the Scottish Premier League in 2005.[6] As well as maintaining their SPL status for four seasons, Hughes led Falkirk to the 2009 Scottish Cup Final.[6]


Hughes was appointed Hibernian manager in the 2009 close season.[6] He led the club to Europa League qualification in his first season in charge, as they finished in fourth place in the SPL.[7] Poor results at the start of the following season, however, led to fans jeering their own team.[8] Hughes left the club by mutual consent on 4 October following a 2–0 defeat against St Johnstone.[9]


Hughes interviewed for the Swindon Town job in the 2011 close season.[10] Hughes was appointed manager of Livingston on 14 February 2012.[11]


After nine months at Livingston, Hughes moved to English club Hartlepool United.[10][12] He took the job when the team were in the midst of a 20-match-run without a win.[13] Despite an upturn in form that earned him a Manager of the Month award, Hartlepool were relegated to Football League Two.[13] Hughes publicly stated his desire to remain at the club, but he was sacked on 9 May 2013.[13]

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Hughes was appointed manager of Scottish Premiership club Inverness Caledonian Thistle on 4 December 2013 on a two-and-a-half-year contract.[14] Soon after this appointment, Hughes led Inverness CT to their first major final after beating Hearts in a penalty shoot-out in the semi-final of the 2013–14 Scottish League Cup. Inverness drew 0–0 against Aberdeen in the final, but, after extra-time, lost the tie 4–2 on penalties.

At the beginning of season 2014–15, Caley Thistle's excellent early performances led him to receive the award of SPFL Manager of the Month for August.[15] He followed this by also winning the award for January 2015, as his Inverness side continued to impress.[16] In April 2015, Hughes led Caley Thistle to their first ever Scottish Cup final after a controversial 3–2 win over favourites, Celtic, and at the end of the month he was shortlisted for PFA Scotland Manager of the Year.[17] On 3 May, Hughes was announced as the winner of the managerial award, ahead of Ronny Deila, Derek McInnes and Robbie Neilson.[18] Further success soon followed as he guided Inverness to a highest ever league finish – 3rd place, and with it, a milestone debut in European competition for the club.[19] The accolades continued, with Hughes winning the SFWA Manager of the Year award, to complete the managerial 'double' for 2014–15.[20] He led the club to their first major silverware with a Scottish Cup final success over his old club Falkirk in May 2015 to conclude the club's most successful season.[21]

Hughes left Inverness at the end of the 2015–16 season.[22]

Raith Rovers

Hughes was appointed manager of Scottish Championship club Raith Rovers in February 2017.[23] The club finished ninth in the Championship, and were relegated to League One after they lost in the play-offs to Brechin City. Immediately after the game, Raith announced that Hughes and his assistant Kevin McBride would be leaving the club.[24]

Ross County

On 21 December 2020, Scottish Premiership club Ross County appointed Hughes as their manager until the end of the season.[25] He guided the club to a tenth-place finish in the Premiership, avoiding relegation, and he left at the end of his contract.[26]

Honours and Achievements




Inverness Caledonian Thistle


Managerial statistics

As of match played on 16 May 2021[28]
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
Falkirk 31 January 2003 31 May 2009 283 117 61 105 041.3
Hibernian 8 June 2009 4 October 2010 54 19 12 23 035.2
Livingston 14 February 2012 13 November 2012 27 12 5 10 044.4
Hartlepool United 13 November 2012 9 May 2013 29 8 9 12 027.6
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 4 December 2013 20 May 2016 121 50 30 41 041.3
Raith Rovers 10 February 2017 13 May 2017 15 4 4 7 026.7
Ross County 21 December 2020 24 May 2021 21 8 2 11 038.1
Total 550 218 123 209 039.6


  1. A Record of Post-war Scottish League Players 1946/47 to 2017/18. 7. John Litster and Scottish Football Historian magazine. 2018.
  2. Falkirk FC Managers
  3. Traynor, James (30 May 2009). "Biggest smile yet from John Hughes if Falkirk claim cup glory". Daily Record. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  4. Hardie, David (5 December 2009). "John Hughes wants dossier on Juniors to avoid Cup 'banana skin' for Hibs". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  5. Grahame, Ewing (24 September 2005). "Jefferies: Yogi Streaking on STV is the Funniest Thing I've Ever Seen". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  6. "Hughes appointed Hibernian boss". BBC Sport. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  7. "Hughes's joy as Hibs earn their passport into Europe". Press and Journal. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  8. "John Hughes is backed to succeed by two SPL peers". BBC Sport. BBC. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  9. "Manager John Hughes parts company with Hibernian". BBC Sport. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  10. Crawford, Kenny (15 November 2012). "Hartlepool give John Hughes the opportunity he has craved". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  11. McLauchlin, Brian (14 February 2012). "John Hughes and John Collins take over at Livingston". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  12. "Hartlepool United: John Hughes appointed as head coach". BBC Sport. BBC. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  13. "Hartlepool United terminate contract of John Hughes". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  14. "Inverness CT: John Hughes confirmed as new manager". BBC Sport. BBC. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  15. "Inverness CT win trio of SPFL monthly awards". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  16. "John Hughes: Inverness Caledonian Thistle wins January award". BBC Sport. BBC. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  17. "Inverness CT: John Hughes feels he has answered critics". BBC Sport. BBC. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  18. "Inverness: John Hughes named PFA manager of year". BBC Sport. BBC. 3 May 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  19. "John Hughes thrilled to seal European place". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  20. Gordon, Moira (23 May 2015). "John Hughes still inspired by tragic Craig Gowans". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  21. "Inverness CT 2 Falkirk 1". BBC Sport. BBC. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  22. "John Hughes: Inverness CT announce manager's exit". BBC Sport. BBC. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  23. McClymont, Scott (10 February 2017). "John Hughes replaces Gary Locke as Raith Rovers manager". STV Sport. STV. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  24. "John Hughes leaves Raith Rovers after relegation to League One". BBC Sport. BBC. 13 May 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  25. "John Hughes appointed Ross County manager". BBC Sport. 21 December 2020. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  26. Coyle, Andy (24 May 2021). "John Hughes leaves position as Ross County manager". STV Sport. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  27. McKinney, David (13 December 1993). "Football: Falkirk find their fire". The Independent. London. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  28. John Hughes management career statistics at Soccerbase