Goal.com's Top 50 English Players: Johnny Haynes (32)

Goal.com continues its countdown of England's greatest players. Today we feature Mr. Fulham, Johnny Haynes...
No.50 - John Terry
No.49 - Tony Currie
No.48 - Terry Butcher
No.47 - Gerry Hitchens
No.46 - Paul Ince
No.45 - George Camsell
No.44 - Wayne Rooney
No.43 - Jackie Milburn
No.42 - Roger Hunt
No.41 - Rio Ferdinand
No.40 - Wilf Mannion

No.39 - Frank Lampard
No.38 - John Barnes
No.37 - Nat Lofthouse
No.36 - Eddie Hapgood
No.35 - Chris Waddle
No.34 - David Platt
No.33 - Phil Neal


Born October 17, 1934

Died October 18, 2005

England 56 caps, 22 goals

Clubs Fulham (1950 - 1970), Durban City (1970)

Considered, perhaps, the prototype of the modern footballer, Johnny Haynes was arguably among the first British superstars in the game, typified by his hand-on-hips gesture of arrogant exasperation with team-mates unable to match his speed of footballing thought.

Haynes was ahead of his time, innovating both on and off the park. He was England’s first £100-a-week footballer, following Jimmy Hill’s 1961 interventions. Also, Haynes became the Brylcreem Boy, a mantle later passed to David Beckham, among others.

His predilection for pomade led to accusations of being little more than a Southern Sofite whenever he ventured up north; however, one of the game’s true hard-men,  Johnny Giles of Leeds United, credits Haynes with being the best footballer he has ever seen.

However, Giles shares a regret with many punidts that Haynes never ventured outside of his relative comfort zone in Craven Cottage, and tested himself at one of London’s bigger clubs, such as the dominant Tottenham Hotspur of the time. A north London native, Haynes had joined the Cottagers rather than Spurs or boyhood heroes Arsenal, because he felt it would be easier to claim a first-team berth, and made his debut in 1952 at age 17.


Sportsman of the Year
Haynes would go on to become 'The Maestro' as he is known around Craven Cottage, spending his entire career there, save for one season latterly at Durban City in South Africa. He served as club captain, was top scorer for four decades, netting nine hat-tricks among his 158 strikes, and even briefly managed the team, in 1968.

His career trajectory mirrored that of his club at the time though; rising through the divisions in the late 50s as he peaked and dropping through the ranks as his playing days, hampered by knee injury, reached their dying embers until relegation from the top-flight in 1968. 

Internationally, Haynes impressed enough in his 56 England caps to tempt AC Milan into offering to make him the highest-paid player in the world before Fulham announced his favourable ton-a-week package. An £80,000 fee was rejected though, and Haynes would also later turn down Spurs in 1964.

Haynes made his debut for the Three Lions in 1954, scoring against Northern Ireland, and garnered another 55 caps before being incapacitated in a traffic accident in late 1962. Despite calls of 'Bring Back Johnny' from the terraces as he briefly regained fitness and form around 1964, England persisted without him; Bobby Charlton usurped Haynes as the creative fulcrum in the national side, Bobby Moore replaced him as captain, and the World Cup was won in 1966 without him.

If England’s win is a story of destiny unfulfilled for Haynes, he certainly did his best to create a legacy before having his international credentials snatched from him. Winning caps in the second-tier of England football is and was a difficult feat to achieve, as Brian Clough famously bemoaned, but Haynes managed to win a good deal of his 56 before Fulham's 1959 promotion to the First Division, with two of his most famous performances coming in an England shirt.

In 1958, England destroyed the Soviet Union, beating them 5-0, with Haynes to the fore. He netted a hat-trick with a combination of right and left-footed strikes. It is remembered as his best performance for his country and he was hoisted from the field on the shoulders of his colleagues.


"A superb passer of the ball, with amazing positional skills, his extremely high standards of professionalism was respected by the fans and his peers." - LBNo11 | London
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In 1961 England won the Home International Championship, which they captured after trouncing Scotland by nine goals to three. Haynes, excelling in his role as captain, scored a brace.

He also featured in two World Cups for England, although the team’s performances in 1958 and 1962 were nothing to write home about. Blisters on his feet limited Haynes' contributions in Sweden while the Chile tournament saw England beaten by Brazil at the quarter-final stage, with Haynes marked out of the game. He would never play again in the national team.

Haynes retired from the professional game in 1970, after 658 games, and spent one season playing for Durban City in South Africa where, poignantly, he won his only honour in the game; a league championship.

He spent his retirement in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he ran a dry cleaning business with his third wife, Avril. Tragically, Haynes was killed a day after his 71st birthday in October 2005 as a result of a car crash.

Fulham have since renamed the Stevenage Road stand in their stadium in honour of their famous No. 10, while a statue of the playmaker was unveiled in 2008, posing with his hands on his hips.


South African National Football League (1970)

DID YOU KNOW... Pele described Haynes as "the best passer of the ball that I've ever seen"?

Peter Staunton, Goal.com

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