Johnny Haynes

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Johnny Haynes
Johnny Haynes at Craven Cottage.jpg
Statue of Haynes outside Craven Cottage
Personal information
Full name John Norman Haynes
Date of birth (1934-10-17)17 October 1934
Place of birth Kentish Town, London, England
Date of death 18 October 2005(2005-10-18) (aged 71)
Place of death Edinburgh, Scotland
Playing position Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1952–1970 Fulham 594 (146)
1951 Wimbledon (loan) 6 (4)
1961 Toronto City (loan) 5 (1)
1970–1971 Durban City 24 (9)
1972–1973 Wealdstone 3 (0)
Total 632 (161)
National team
1955–1957 England U23 8 (8)
1954–1962 England 56 (18)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John Norman "Johnny" Haynes (17 October 1934 – 18 October 2005) was an English footballer, best known for his 18 years at Fulham. An inside forward, Haynes is widely regarded as the greatest footballer ever to play for the London club, particularly noted for his exceptional passing skill and ability to read a game. An accomplished international, he made 56 appearances for his country, including 22 as captain (many of them while playing for Fulham in the Second Division). Haynes became the first player to be paid £100 a week, immediately following the abolition of the £20 maximum wage in 1961.[1] Pelé was once quoted as calling Haynes the "best passer of the ball I've ever seen".[2]

Life and career[edit]

Johnny Haynes was born in the Kentish Town area of London. He signed for Fulham as a schoolboy in 1950 and turned professional in May 1952, at the age of 17 (the youngest possible age legally) and made his debut at 18. He remained at Fulham for his entire professional career, until leaving for South Africa in 1970, where he played for the now defunct Durban City.[citation needed]

Haynes became the first player to play for England in every class of football available in his playing era - school, youth, under 23, `B` and full international level. His debut for the full senior side came on 2 October 1954, scoring a goal in a 2-0 England victory over Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, Belfast. An accomplished career saw him making 55 further appearances (the last 22 as captain) for the national side, with perhaps his best game being 1958 at Wembley Stadium when he scored a hat-trick against the Soviet Union in a 5-0 win. He was to become one of the famous stars of the sport along with Stanley Matthews and others of the era, and was to be one of the first to appear in adverts (for Brylcreem), after Denis Compton.[citation needed]

His career was severely affected by a car accident in 1962 on Blackpool promenade, when the sports car in which he was returning late to his hotel was blown by a gust of wind into the path of another vehicle. Haynes broke bones in both feet and badly injured a knee. He recounts that the police officer who attended the incident reassured him by saying "Don't worry son, you've only broken your legs". He missed a season and, when he returned to the Fulham side, was not quite the same player. Prior to the accident he had captained England 22 times, and, being only 27, was expected to lead them in the 1966 World Cup; but he was never again selected for the national team.[3]

Haynes made 32 of his 56 appearances for England when Fulham were in the Second Division. No player has appeared as many times for the national team when playing outside a country's top tier.[citation needed]

In his record 658 appearances for Fulham, 594 of which were in the Football League, he rose to become club captain and scored a total of 158 goals, another club record and one which was only surpassed by striker Gordon Davies in 1991. Haynes has scored the most hat-tricks (9) for Fulham, scored 4 goals twice and once even 5 goals in a First Division match. His best scoring season was in the 1958-59 campaign, with 26 from 34 games. In later seasons Haynes was not a prolific goalscorer, instead preferring to set up goals and assist. Haynes is known for having said he would prefer to provide a good long-ball rather than score personally. He would often hone his passing skills alone at Craven Cottage, laying a towel out in front of the clubhouse and pinging balls onto it from the centre spot.[citation needed]

Haynes had a single spell in football management, taking charge of the Cottagers for a brief spell in November 1968 after the dismissal of Bobby Robson as player-manager, but Haynes never had any ambition to go into coaching. His last appearance for Fulham 1st team was on January 17, 1970 in a home match against Stockport County.[4] In 1970, he retired professionally aged 35, and joined the South African club, Durban City, for whom he played one season and helped them to win the national championship. This was his only winner's medal in club football.[5]

On 17 October 2005 (his 71st birthday), at approximately 2:55pm BST (1:55pm GMT), Haynes was driving his car along Dalry road in Edinburgh, Scotland, the city in which he had lived since 1984 after leaving South Africa, when he suffered a brain haemorrhage, which effectively rendered him brain-stem dead almost instantaneously. The car veered off into the oncoming traffic and hit a light goods vehicle. Although the accident was witnessed by a doctor who managed, using CPR, to restart Johnny's heart, he was effectively dead. Although kept on a ventilator for some 30 hours, all tests that were undertaken by the medical staff in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, showed negative activity in the brain and, as per his family's wishes, after he had donated some of his organs, the ventilator was turned off at approximately 9pm GMT on the evening of 18 October 2005.[citation needed]

First £100-per-week player[edit]

Johnny Haynes, as one of the finest players of his era, was of constant interest to other football clubs, which contributed to the pressure which led to the demise of the £20-per-week maximum wage applied to the game until 1961. Fulham chairman Tommy Trinder had boasted that Haynes was worth £100 a week, not expecting that the £20 pay cap (equivalent to £340 in 2010) would be abolished. When it was removed, Trinder paid up without complaint to make Haynes the first footballer to earn £100 per week. Fulham famously turned down an offer of £80,000 from AC Milan for "The Maestro" that would have been over double the record for a transfer at the time and would have made Haynes the best paid player in the world.[citation needed]


On the day of the death of Johnny Haynes, Alan Mullery, another high-profile Fulham and England player, made the following tribute: "He was the only reason I went to Fulham as a young boy of 15 leaving school. He was my hero, the captain of England and Fulham. The word great rolls off the tongue quite easily these days but he really was. He was the best passer of a ball I have ever seen - I don't know anyone who could pass a ball as accurately. Anyone who saw him will know what a great player he was."[6]

The Fulham Supporters Trust stated: "His dedication, skill, professionalism, grace and charm - both in his playing days and in retirement - serve as a poignant reminder to many of today's footballers about what true greatness really means." [6]

Playing for England against Northern Ireland in 1955, Haynes ran onto a long clearance into the Northern Ireland half. He met the ball as it touched the ground and miraculously flicked a deft half-volley over a defender's head, straight to his Fulham colleague Bedford Jezzard, making a rare England appearance - his career was cut short by injury not long afterwards. Jezzard's half volley was saved by the Northern Ireland goalkeeper Upritchard who got both hands to the ball but was almost knocked into the net by the force of the shot. In 1959 at Craven Cottage Haynes delighted even Tottenham fans by playing a magnificent 30 yard pass through the centre of the Spurs defence - the same one that helped them to "The Double" the following year - which put Jimmy Hill through with a clear run on goal from which he scored. George Cohen, a World Cup winner for England in 1966 and a Fulham teammate of Johnny Haynes, stated: "I have a hundred individual memories of the beauty of John's play. One stands out for the sheer perfection of his skill. It was a charity match which, but for that one second, has faded completely from my memory. The ball came to him at speed on a wet, slippery surface but with the slightest of adjustments, one that was almost imperceptible, he played it inside a full-back and into the path of an on-running winger. I looked at our coach Dave Sexton on the bench and he caught my glance and shook his head as if to say 'fantastic'. Haynes could give you goose bumps on a wet night in a match that didn't matter."[7]

Bobby Moore, Haynes' successor as England captain, said of him: "Once you get used to watching that perfection you realised the rest of the secret. John was always available, always hungry for the ball, always wanting to play. I loved watching the player. Later I learnt to love the man."[8]

In 2002 Haynes became an Inaugural Inductee to the English Football Hall of Fame in recognition of his football talents and impact on the English game.[9] Perhaps his greatest achievement as a footballer was that most of what he tried to create for Fulham - and for some England teams - went to waste but his own game never deteriorated. He always played superlative football for the full 90 minutes.


  • Its All In The Game
  • In March 2008 the first full book on Johnny Haynes' career was published by club photographer Ken Coton and lifelong supporter Martin Plumb. Eulogised by journalists, the book with over 300 pages and 300 photographs details all of his games and goals with rare archive footage (Ashwater Press)

Craven Cottage[edit]

The Johnny Haynes stand at Craven Cottage, home of Fulham Football Club, renamed in the legend's memory.

Johnny Haynes Stand[edit]

Weeks after its centenary year, on 27 November 2005, it was announced that the Archibald Leitch-designed Stevenage Road Stand at Craven Cottage would be renamed The Johnny Haynes Stand. Other suggestions to honour Haynes had included a redesign of the gates of Craven Cottage and the retirement of the number 10 shirt worn by Haynes throughout his time at Fulham.[citation needed]


On 28 July 2008, Fulham announced that fundraising had commenced, with the co-operation of a fan's group, to produce a lasting tribute to Haynes.[10] A statue was commissioned and was unveiled at Craven Cottage before the Premier League match against Sunderland on 18 October 2008. The Statue also appears on Fulham Membership Cards issue in 2010.[citation needed]

Career statistics[edit]


Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1952–53 Fulham Second Division 18 1
1953–54 41 16
1954–55 37 8
1955–56 40 18
1956–57 33 5
1957–58 38 15
1958–59 34 26
1959–60 First Division 31 10
1960–61 39 9
1961–62 38 5
1962–63 8 0
1963–64 40 8
1964–65 39 5
1965–66 33 6
1966–67 36 6
1967–68 34 5
1968–69 Second Division 28 1
1969–70 Third Division 27 3
Total England 594 147
Career total 594 147
England national team
Year Apps Goals
1954 1 1
1955 2 0
1956 7 4
1957 6 3
1958 10 4
1959 7 1
1960 7 3
1961 8 2
1962 8 0
Total 56 18


  1. ^ Coates, Sam; Asthana, Anushka (20 October 2005). "Johnny Haynes". The Times. London. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Johnny Haynes 1934-2005". Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Johnny Haynes". The Daily Telegraph. London. 20 October 2005. 
  4. ^ Fulham .v. Stockport County Div 3 1969-70 season 1-1. Haynes played at no10. (programme)
  5. ^ The Independent, 20 October 2005, Obituaries, Johnny Haynes, “In 1970, having scored 157 times in 657 senior appearances for the Cottagers, the 35-year-old Haynes joined the South African club Durban City, for whom he played one season and, ironically, earned his first and only honour in club football by helping them to become champions”.
  6. ^ a b Legendary Haynes dies after car crash . Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  7. ^ James Lawton: Haynes still the beginning, middle and end of how football should be played . Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  8. ^ Fulham fail the maestro | Fulham - Times Online Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "English Football Hall of Fame: 2002 Inaugural Inductees". National Football Museum. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Johnny Haynes Statue Action Group". Johnny Haynes Statue Action Group. Archived from the original on 15 July 2009. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Johnny Haynes". National Football Teams. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Billy Wright
England captain
Succeeded by
Bobby Moore