13 October

On this day in 2004 Mark Hughes took charge of the Wales national team for the last time.

Having accepted the job of Blackburn manager in the English Premiership, Hughes led the national side out for the last time as Wales took on Poland in the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign at the Millennium Stadium.

Despite going ahead with a 56th minute Rob Earnshaw goal, Poland had obviously not read the script and spoiled Hughes’ farewell with three late goals.

Tomasz Frankowski levelled the scores on 72 minutes before Maciej Zurawski added a second for the visitors nine minutes later.

Jacek Krzynowek sealed the victory before John Hartson grabbed an injury time consolation for Wales.

It was Wales’ second defeat in the group, having lost 2-0 to England at Old Trafford three days earlier, and the two opening draws against Azerbaijan and Northern Ireland left Wales with very little hope of qualification for the World Cup.

It was a disappointing end to Hughes’ reign which had seen Wales come so close to qualifying for the European Championships in Portugal in 2004.

However it is worth pointing out that under Hughes, Wales won just six of the 26 competetive games played, with four of those six victories coming against Azerbaijan and Belarus.

Gary Speed, also announced his retirement from international football after the game against Poland where he won his 85th cap – a record for a Welsh outfield player.