Fulham’s finest ever player would have been 75 today.
Sadly, I’m too young to have even seen Johnny Hayes play. But I’m assured by those lucky enough to have watched him – and the footage bears it out – that Haynes was a truly special player. An England captain with a quite brilliant range of passing and blessed with remarkable vision, Haynes was also a one-club man throughout his career, which often meant he was playing a couple of levels below where he should have been. In many ways, he was the antitode to the modern footballer, who seems to swap clubs almost every year.
GBLB from TIFF found this video of Haynes the other day. Though it doesn’t catch the great man in his prime, the magic is still very much there:
Here’s Haynes at his best for his country as England thrash Scotland at Wembley in 1961.
If the footage has made you nostalgic, I’d recommend the brilliant book on the The Maestro produced by Ashwater Press.
Rest in peace, Johnny.