|Full name||Alfred Hale|
|Date of birth||28 August 1939|
|Place of birth||Waterford, Republic of Ireland|
|Playing position||Inside forward|
|195x–1957||St. Joseph's Juniors|
|1975–1976||St Patrick's Athletic||?||(3)|
|1962–1973||Republic of Ireland||14||(2)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Alfred "Alfie" Hale (born 28 August 1939 in Waterford, Republic of Ireland) is a former Irish footballer and manager who played for several clubs in both the League of Ireland and the English League, most notably, Waterford United, Aston Villa, Doncaster Rovers and Cork Celtic. During his career Hale scored 153 goals in the League of Ireland and a further 66 with English League clubs. As an international, Hale also played for the Republic of Ireland.
After retiring as a player Hale managed several teams in the League of Ireland, most notably, Cork Celtic, Waterford United and Kilkenny City. In June 2003, Hale and such other notable Waterford footballers as Davy Walsh, Paddy Coad, Peter Thomas, Jim Beglin and John O'Shea were honoured by the Waterford City Council and presented with a Waterford Crystal vase.
Hale spent much of his playing and coaching career at Waterford United. His father, three brothers and two uncles had all played for the club in the 1930s. In 1930 the trio even formed an all-Hale half-back line in a league game at home to Bohemians. At the age of 17 Hale junior along with Peter Fitzgerald (footballer) made a scoring League of Ireland debut at Kilcohan Park on St Patrick's Day 1957 in a 3–1 win over Bohemians
He left Waterford in 1960 but after seven seasons in the English League, he returned in 1966. Then together with Johnny Matthews, he became a central figure in a Waterford team that dominated the League of Ireland. In 1971–72 Hale was player-manager of the side when they beat Cork Hibernians in dramatic circumstances at Flower Lodge to claim his fifth league title in six seasons. In both 1971–72 and 1972–73 he also finished as joint top goalscorer in the league, scoring 22 and 20 goals respectively. He is also the 7th highest League of Ireland goalscorer of all time with 153 league goals. He was awarded a benefit game in August 1971.
In June 1960, aged 19, Hale was sold by Waterford United to Aston Villa for a fee of £4,500. However, Hale failed to establish himself in the Villa first team and went on to make just 7 first team appearances, scoring 2 goals. Despite this Hale won his first international cap for the Republic of Ireland while at Villa.
Hale signed for Doncaster Rovers in the summer of 1962 and made his debut for the club on 18 August in a 2–0 defeat to Brentford in the Football League Fourth Division. He scored four goals in a single game as he helped Rovers to a record league win when they beat Darlington. In three seasons with Rovers, Hale made 119 league appearances and scored 42 goals. He also made 7 appearances for Rovers in the League Cup and 9 in the FA Cup, scoring 2 further goals.
Republic of Ireland international
Between 1962 and 1973, Hale made 14 appearances and scored 2 goals for the Republic of Ireland national football team. He made his senior international debut on 8 April 1962 in a 3–2 home defeat against Austria. Hale went on to score twice for the Republic of Ireland, both goals coming in 1968, against Poland and then Austria. He made his last appearance for the Republic of Ireland on 21 October 1973 as a substitute in a 1–0 home win against Poland.
As a manager Hale would return to Waterford United for two further spells. During the first of these, between 1982 until 1986, he guided the club to victory in the League of Ireland Cup in 1985 and to the FAI Cup final in 1986. He returned to manage the club again between 1991 and 1993 and helped them achieve promotion from the First Division in 1992. In 2005 he briefly returned to Waterford United once again, this time acting as special advisor.
Aside from Waterford, Hale has also coached several other teams in the League of Ireland. He was appointed player/manager of Thurles Town in May 1981 where he made history by becoming the League of Ireland's oldest ever goalscorer, and also the only player to score in four different League of Ireland decades. As manager of Cobh Ramblers, Hale gave Roy Keane his debut in 1990. Between 1995 and 1999 he was manager of Kilkenny City and in 1997, with a team which included the likes of his son Richie, Brendan Rea, Paul Cashin and Pascal Keane, he guided them to the First Division title. After leaving Kilkenny, Hale remained active in junior football working with Waterford Crystal F.C. and Tramore F.C, winning the first league in 50 years with Tramore in 2000–01.
At the same time as managing various League of Ireland clubs, Hale also established himself as a prominent businessman in the Waterford area. In 1978 he opened a sports shop, currently trading under the name Alfie Hale's Intersport and located at Arundal Square. He also owns a chain of pubs including Alfie Hale's Bar in Ballybricken and Alfie Hale's Sports Bar on Lombard Street.
- League of Ireland
- 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1971–72, 1972–73:
- League of Ireland Shield
- Top Four Cup
- 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1972–73:
- Munster Senior Cup
- 1965–66, 1966–67:
- SWAI Personality of the Year
- League of Ireland
- League of Ireland First Division
- Top goalscorers in League of Ireland – RSSSF Archived 6 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- www.irishtimes.com (subscription required)
- Aston Villa site[dead link]
- "Alfie Hale: inside forward 1962–1965". Doncasterrovers.co.uk. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- "Alfie Hale". International Mens Statistics. Soccerscene.ie. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- Irish Times (subscription required)
- Alfie Hale’s Intersport
- Alfie Hale’s Bar
- Alfie Hale’s Sports Bar
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
- Who's Who of Aston Villa (2004): Tony Matthews 
- The Boys in Green – The FAI International Story (1997): Sean Ryan