Born: Lambeth, 17 May 1972

Nationality: Jamaican

International caps: 10

International goals: 0

Signed: 18 November 1998 from Bristol Rovers (£2m)

Fulham appearances: 215

Fulham goals: 57

Honours: Second Division champions (1998-99), First Division champions (2001-02), UEFA InterToto Cup (2002).

Sold: Released, 24 June 2004.

Barry Hayles was used to proving people wrong long before he made his detractors eat their words at Fulham. He started his career as an eighteen year old at Willesden Hawkeye, but his big break came with Stevenage Borough. He scored 29 goals in 38 games as Stevenage won the Conference in 1995-96 and earned a pair of England semi-professional caps. Bristol Rovers paid £250,000 for Hayles’ services in June 1997 and he repaid their faith scoring 37 goals in 76 games.

It was Kevin Keegan who lured Hayles back to London for £2m in November 1998. Hayles might have been weighed down by becoming Fulham’s record signing during an underwhelming start, but he never looked back after grabbing the winner in an FA Cup giantkilling of Southampton in front of the TV cameras in January 1999. It was under Jean Tigana that Fulham fans saw his most consistent form: scoring 19 goals in 39 games as the Whites roared to the Division One title.

The big hitman found goals tougher to come by in the top flight but he finished with twelve, including an equaliser against Chelsea that rescued a point in the first SW6 derby, despite not being a regular in the team. Tigana relished his pace and power and Hayles was a popular member of the squad that established themselves in the Premier League. He helped the Whites reach the FA Cup semi-finals with crucial goals against Wycombe and Walsall and briefly displaced Louis Saha in Chris Coleman’s starting line-up, famously scoring twice at White Hart Lane at the start of the 2003-04 season as Fulham beat his boyhood club Tottenham 3-0.

Hayles was disappointed to be released at the end of the season where he had helped the Whites finish ninth in the top flight, but remarkably he is still playing well past his 40th birthday in non-league football. He is a regular at Craven Cottage – joyously celebrating Fulham’s promotion back to the Premier League in 2022 by dancing along to Mitro’s on fire!