Wrexham have their own Boy From The Blackstuff in charge of their bid for a return to the Football League.
New Dragons’ manager Bryan Hughes is nicknamed ‘Yosser’ because he shares his name with the lead character from the 1980s TV drama series by Alan Bleasdale.
Manchester-born actor Bernard Hill plays the Blackstuff character, while Wrexham’s Hughes is a Scouser who started his playing career at the North Wales club and is back as manager.
He took charge of his first training session on the Airbus UK 4G surface on Thursday morning and later chatted to the media, saying: “I’m delighted to be here. It’s where I started my career and it’s exciting to be back.
“I was an attack-minded player and that’s how I want the Wrexham team to play.”
The first Vanarama National League match for manager Hughes is at home against Dagenham and Redbridge at the Racecourse on Saturday (3pm).
Wrexham are fifth, four points behind leaders Leyton Orient, and insists he not fazed about becoming the club’s third manager this season.
The 42-year-old former Premier League midfield player has signed a three-and-a-half year deal through to 2022.
He takes over from Graham Barrow, who stepped down only two months after taking over from Sam Ricketts when he moved to Shrewsbury Town.
“Does it faze me?” said Hughes. “No. It’s one of those things that I’m excited about delivering.
“This club has been out of Football League way too long for my liking.
“It’s not an easy job as other managers have found. It’s not as easy as people think. It’s a competitive league, especially this season.
“But we’ll be doing our utmost as a coaching team, as a playing team and I’m sure the fans will back us all the way. That’s going to be the key.”
A run of five successive defeats at the start of 2019 was ended by a 1-0 win against Maidenhead United and now Hughes’ team will look to build on that.
Wrexham have been out of the Football League for 11 seasons and Hughes has been handed the task of ending that exile.
He emerged through the Wrexham youth system and broke into the first team when Brian Flynn was manager during the mid 1990s. He made 97 appearances in three years before joining Birmingham City.
Trevor Francis was in charge of the Blues and paid a £1m transfer fee for the attacking midfield player.
Wrexham said in a statement: “Bryan is an excellent coach who has a strong affinity for the club.
“His appointment signals our intent to go back to the model which has seen us progress on the pitch and again become competitive in the League.
“Bryan will be completely focussed on building momentum in the final 15 games of the season as we look to achieve a successful end of the season.”
Hughes helped Birmingham earn promotion to the Premier and later played for Charlton and Hull in the top flight.
This evening Hughes will meet Wrexham Supporters Trust members at a ‘Meet the Manager’ event in the Centenary Club (Thursday, 7.45pm).
Membership cards will be needed to gain entry.
Mike Newell, who was assistant to Barrow, has left the club by mutual consent and a club statement said: “We would like to thank Mike for his efforts during his short time at the and wish him all the very best for the future.”
The kick-off time for Wrexham’s League match against Leyton Orient on Saturday, March 9 has been brought forward to 12.35pm. The fixture will be shown live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4K UHD.