Johnny Haynes

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John Norman "Johnny" Haynes (17 October 1934 – 18 October 2005) was an English footballer, best known for his 18 years at Fulham. He played a club-record 658 games and scored 158 goals for the club between 1952 and 1970. 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

Johnny Haynes was born in the Kentish Town area of London, his first school was Houndsfield Road School, Edmonton and then attended The Latymer School in Edmonton during his youth. He signed for Fulham as a schoolboy in 1950 and played loan spells at amateur sides Feltham (in the Middlesex League), Wimbledon (Isthmian League) and Woodford Town (Delphian League). He turned professional in May 1952, at the age of 17 (the youngest possible age legally) and made his debut at 18. Unusually, and despite many offers from other clubs, 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, alongside former Fulham teammates Johnny Byrne and Bobby Keetch.

Johnny Haynes was the first footballer to appear 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. He is sometimes considered the David Beckham of his day,[citation needed] with his exceptional passing ability turning him into somewhat of a "schemer" despite being an "inside forward". During his time at Fulham, he was picked on several occasions (as Captain) for the London XI in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

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