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Born: Wednesday 17 October 1934, London, England
Died: Tuesday 18 October 2005, Edinburgh, Scotland (aged 71)
Position: Inside Forward/Midfielder
Famous as the first English footballer to earn £100 per week following the abolition of the maximum wage in 1961, inside-left Johnny Haynes is also remembered as one of the finest passers of the ball his country has produced. Staying loyal to Fulham throughout his playing career, for many years he remained a regular at international level despite playing outside the top division and captained England at the 1962 World Cup.
John Norman Haynes was born in Kentish Town in London on 17 October 1934. An England schoolboy and youth international, he joined the groundstaff of First Division Fulham at the age of 15, spending much of the next two years going out on loan to local amateur clubs including future Football League side Wimbledon. As soon as he turned 17, Haynes signed a professional contract and began a career with Fulham that would last for almost 20 years.
By the time he made his first team debut, in a 1-1 draw with Southampton on Boxing Day 1952, Fulham had been relegated to the Second Division. Haynes spent the first seven years of his senior career playing at that lower level, but it didn't prevent him from gaining a reputation as one of the most gifted inside-lefts in England. Playing alongside future England manager Bobby Robson, he quickly became a first team regular and was picked for both the England under-23 and 'B' teams.
Although he was regularly able to contribute goals himself, scoring 16 in his first full season, Haynes' greatest gift was his passing ability. He was able to find team-mates accurately over almost any distance and in any direction, instinctively knowing where they would be. His lack of top flight football proved no barrier to international honours, as despite having no senior international appearances to his name he was selected in the England squad for the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland.
Haynes did not appear in the finals, where England lost to Uruguay in the quarter-finals, but his first cap was not far away. His debut came against Northern Ireland in October 1954, scoring the opening goal in a 2-0 win and becoming the first player to represent England at five different levels. Although he had to wait more than a year for his second cap, he managed to establish himself in the team and won more than 30 caps before ever playing top-flight football.
For several years Fulham hovered around mid-table in the Second Division, with some suggesting that Haynes may be better off moving to a bigger club. However, despite many offers from teams in England and overseas he remained loyal to Fulham and in 1957-58, the club finally put together a promotion challenge. Well placed in April, a backlog of fixtures caused by a run to the FA Cup semi-final saw them fade over the last six games. Haynes' workload was further increased by appearing for the London XI which reached the final of the inaugural Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, losing to Barcelona.
That summer, Haynes was selected in the England squad for the World Cup in Sweden, where unlike four years earlier he got to play in all his team's matches. Unfortunately, he was still tired from the hectic end to the domestic season and was below his best, although he did get on the scoresheet in England's 2-2 draw with Austria. With the group games against the Soviet Union and Brazil also having been drawn, England faced a play-off against the Soviets for a quarter-final place and lost 1-0, suffering an early exit from the finals.
Perhaps the finest season of Haynes' career came in 1958-59. Early in the campaign he scored a hat-trick of stunning long-range goals for England as they gained revenge for their World Cup exit with a 5-0 win over the Soviet Union. He was also in fine form at club level, scoring a career-high 26 league goals as Fulham won promotion to the top flight as Second Division runners-up. Haynes' first season of First Division football saw Fulham finisha creditable 10th and in the summer of 1960, he was given the position of England captain.
He had already been captain of Fulham for several years, earning a reputation as a dominant figure on the pitch capable of giving team-mates quite an earbashing when they made mistakes. Early in his tenure as England skipper, Haynes led his country to a famous 9-3 thrashing of rivals Scotland at Wembley, scoring two and having a hand in five more in what was arguably his finest performance in an England shirt.
With Fulham still having to fight off a number of clubs who wanted to sign Haynes, including Italian giants AC Milan who bid a massive £80,000. Fulham's chairman had publicly declared that his star player was worth £100 per week, several times the average salary, and when the maximum wage for footballers was abolished in England he kept his word. Haynes became the highest paid player in England, although still earning less than he could have done abroad.
Fulham barely survived in the First Division in 1961-62, having been in the relegation zone for much of the spring. Despite a difficult season, Haynes retained the England captaincy and led his country at the World Cup in Chile, but as in 1958 he could not find his best form . England scraped into the quarter-finals with a 0-0 draw against Bulgaria, after Haynes had been marked out of the game in their opening loss to Hungary.
The quarter-final saw a confortable defeat at the hands of defending champions Brazil, in what would prove to be Haynes' last appearance for his country at the age of just 27. Later that year he was involved in a motorcycle accident which left him with a bad knee injury and forced him to miss much of the 1962-63 season. Although he returned to fitness, Haynes was never able to force himself back into England contention, only able to watch on as his country became world champions on home soil in 1966.
Through the 1960s, Fulham had a number of close escapes from relegation, finishing one place above the drop zone in both 1965 and 1966. In 1968, their luck ran out as they finished rock bottom, six points from safety. Things were to get worse as they finished bottom of the Second Division a year later, and Haynes was destined to end his time at the club playing third tier football. He left Fulham in 1970 having made 658 first team appearances, a figure which remains a club record, almost 150 ahead of any other player.
Moving to South Africa, Haynes briefly played for Durban City and won his only major honour with a league title in the 1970 season. After his playing career he invested in a chain of bookmakers which he sold for a significant profit, enabling him to have a comfortable retirement. He eventually settled in Edinburgh, where he ran a dry-cleaning business with his wife. On his 71st birthday, Haynes was involved in a car crash after suffering a brain haemorrhage while driving. He died in hospital the following day. Still remembered as Fulham's finest ever player, he has a stand named after him at their Craven Cottage ground and a statue standing outside.
References (all accessed 18 October 2012):
- Published on Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:31