Stoke City boss Mark Hughes issues flares plea to fans

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Stoke City manager Mark Hughes urged football fans who bring flares into grounds to remember the man who lost his life.

Hughes recalled what happened to John Hill as a new survey shows the number of incidents involving flares rapidly increasing.

John died after being hit by a flare in a Wales international game in 1993,

Hughes said: “I seem to recall a Wales game a few years ago at the old Arms Park when a flare was set off and somebody lost his life.

“So there is potential for a real tragedy if you bring these types of things into grounds because it’s happened before.

“I’m all for great atmospheres and creating atmosphere in grounds – but you don’t have to do it with flares.”

Stoke City host Cardiff tomorrow (December 4) in the Premier League and Hughes sees it as an ideal opportunity to bounce back after Saturday’s defeat to Everton.

“We were on a nice little run of I think four games unbeaten, but now the onus is on us to go on another run and make sure we continue to be strong at home.

“We did well against Sunderland and we need to do the same against Cardiff.

“Cardiff are a hard working side, they will always run and make it difficult for you so we will have to match that.

“But if we do that I think given we’re the home side we have more than enough to take it away  from them.”

Stoke will be without Jonathan Walters with a thigh injury and continue to miss central defender Robert Huth.

Hughes added: “We didn’t really know the extent of Robert’s injury until the surgeon went in and had a look, but thankfully he’s likely to be back in three to four weeks.”

See StaffsLive’s video report by Tom Bushell below.

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