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John Norman 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 west 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). His passing ability earned him the nickname "the Maestro".[1] Haynes became the first player to be paid £100 a week, immediately following the abolition of the £20 maximum wage in 1961.[2] Pelé was once quoted as calling Haynes the "best passer of the ball I've ever seen".[3]

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)
1951Wimbledon (loan) 6 (4)
1961Toronto 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

Life and careerEdit

He was born in Kentish Town. He signed for Fulham as a 15 year old amateur in 1950 and made his senior debut in May 1952.[4]

Haynes made his debut for the England football team in October 1954, scoring a goal in a 2-0 victory over Northern Ireland in Belfast. He first captained England in 1960 and played for them at two World Cups.[5]

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.[6]

Whilst at Fulham he became Britain's first footballer to earn £100 per week. In total he made 657 appearances for Fulham, and scored 157 goals.[4]

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's 1st team was on 17 January 1970 in a home match against Stockport County.[citation needed] 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.[4]

On 17 October 2005 Haynes was driving his car when he suffered a brain haemorrhage, which effectively rendered him brain dead instantaneously. Although kept on a ventilator for some 30 hours, the ventilator was turned off on the evening of 18 October 2005.[7] He had just turned 71 years old the day before.[5]


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."[5]

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." [5]

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."[8]

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."[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

Career statisticsEdit



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. ^ Haynes, England's pass-master general Archived 3 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Coates, Sam; Asthana, Anushka (20 October 2005). "Johnny Haynes". The Times. London. Retrieved 22 February 2011. (subscription required)
  3. ^ "Johnny Haynes 1934-2005". Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Johnny Haynes". Obituaries. The Independent. 20 October 2005.
  5. ^ a b c d "Legendary Haynes dies after car crash". BBC. 12 October 2005. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Johnny Haynes". The Daily Telegraph. London. 20 October 2005.
  7. ^ Goldman, L. (2013). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2005-2008. ODNB Print Series. OUP Oxford. p. 504. ISBN 978-0-19-967154-0. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  8. ^ James Lawton: Haynes still the beginning, middle and end of how football should be played . Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  9. ^ Fulham fail the maestro | Fulham - Times Online Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine (subscription required)
  10. ^ "English Football Hall of Fame: 2002 Inaugural Inductees". National Football Museum. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  11. ^ "Johnny Haynes Statue Action Group". Johnny Haynes Statue Action Group. Archived from the original on 15 July 2009. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Johnny Haynes". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 28 January 2010.

External linksEdit