The former Manchester United and Barcelona striker subsequently took over at Blackburn and, after avoiding relegation in his first season, managed three successive top-10 finishes, attracting the attention of Manchester City in June 2008.
The likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Joleon Lescott and Carlos Tevez followed, but Hughes' results failed to match the owners' expectations and he was fired in December 2009 with City sixth in the Premier League.
QPR striker Tommy Smith told BBC Radio 5 live that he was delighted with the club's choice of manager.
MARK HUGHES' CAREER
Playing career takes in spells at Manchester United (twice), Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Everton, Blackburn, Southampton and Wales
Scores 163 goals in 606 club appearances. Wins 72 caps for Wales, scoring 16 times
Appointed part-time Wales manager in 1999
Becomes Blackburn manager in 2004
Appointed manager of Manchester City in 2008
Sacked by Manchester City in December 2009
Appointed Fulham boss in July 2010, leads them to eighth in Premier League
Announces resignation from Fulham in June 2011
Appointed QPR boss in January 2012
"We are very pleased," said Smith. "We were shocked to hear of Neil Warnock's departure on Sunday. It came slightly out of the blue but after that everyone wanted a quick appointment.
"To get someone of Mark's calibre, and to get him so quickly, is great news.
"Mark popped into the training ground this afternoon for a meeting. He sat us down, and introduced himself and his backroom staff.
"He talked about the challenges ahead, what he is going to bring to the club and what challenges he is going to set us as players.
"To get a manager who has played at the highest level and managed big teams is great for everyone concerned, particularly the players.
"We signed a fair bit of Premiership experience at the end of August but a lot of the players haven't been at this level for too long.
"So to work with someone like Mark every day, with the wealth of experience he has…it is exciting times."
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