Derek Hales

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Derek Hales
Personal information
Full name Derek David Hales
Date of birth (1951-12-15) 15 December 1951 (age 62)
Place of birth Lower Halstow, Kent, England
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
N/A
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1968-19?? Gillingham ??
19??-1972 Dartford ??
1972-1973 Luton Town 7 (1)
1973-1976 Charlton Athletic 129 (72)
1976-1977 Derby County 23 (4)
1977-1978 West Ham United 24 (10)
1978-1985 Charlton Athletic 191 (76)
1985-1986 Gillingham 40 (9)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Derek David Hales (born 15 December 1951 in Lower Halstow, Kent) is an English former footballer.

Hales joined Gillingham as a youth team player in 1968 but failed to gain a professional contract and drifted into non-League football, playing for Faversham Town and then Dartford. In 1972 Luton Town paid £2,000 to sign him from Dartford, but just over a year later he was sold for £4,000 to Charlton Athletic. It was at The Valley that he made a name for himself, scoring 168 goals in 368 games in two spells at the club, making him the Addicks' all-time leading goalscorer and earning the nickname from the fans "The Killer" or simply "Killer" due to his lethal finishing in front of goal and the fact that his family owned a butchers' shop with a slaughterhouse attached to it, where Hales used to help out before becoming a professional. In between his two spells with Charlton he played top-flight football for Derby County and West Ham United, the team he supported as a boy. When his second spell at Charlton ended in 1985 he joined Gillingham, where he rounded off his professional career with 9 goals in 31 games. Released by the Gills in 1986, he returned to the village in which he was born and bought the local pub.

During his time at Charlton he was once sent off for fighting with his own team-mate Mike Flanagan during an FA Cup match against Maidstone United.

He is currently a P.E teacher at The Howard School, Gillingham, Kent. In 2005, as part of Charlton's centenary celebrations, the fans voted Hales as their "All-time Cult Hero" as well as "Best Ever Striker". In 2012 he was inducted into the Charlton Athletic Hall of Fame.

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