If there is one surname which has a special significance for Hayes FC, it is that of Brown. Over the years 16 players with this name have played for the club, more than any other, and two of them have had a huge impact on shaping its destiny.
Alphabetically, the first of the Browns is Alec Brown, a goalkeeper, who joined from Crown & Manor after limiting Hayes to one goal in a Middlesex Senior Cup tie in 1962-3. He was invited to tour Switzerland with the Hayes team at Whitsun 1963 and impressed with his fearless saves. He also played for Fulham Reserves. In two seasons he made a total of 25 appearances.
C.G. (Charlie) Brown came from Wealdstone. He played only one season for Hayes - 1931-2 - but what a season it was. The club finished as runners-up in only their second season in the Athenian League, and won the London Senior Cup for the first time. Brown featured significantly and played 38 matches at wing-half, scoring one goal, curiously against Wealdstone. He was selected for the Athenian League representative side against the Corinthian League and the Corinthians, and for Middlesex against Hertfordshire at Finchley and against Bedfordshire at Wealdstone. At the end of the season, he turned professional with Crystal Palace, together with Cyril Knight.
Cliff Brown was an outside-right who joined from Yiewsley, when that club turned semi-professional in the Southern League in 1958. He made 11 appearances and scored 3 goals. He later went on to play for Uxbridge (1960-4), Slough (1964-5), Drayreg (1965-6), Egham (1969-70) and Chalfont (1970-1).
Dave or Dai Brown joined Hayes from Yiewsley in 1951, where he represented the Spartan League, and had previously played for Southall. He was a guest in the Hayes team which played La Gantoise in a Festival of Britain celebration match in 1951 before joining Hayes that summer. He was already a Welsh amateur international full-back and gained further caps while with Hayes, against England and Scotland in 1952. He was also selected for Middlesex ten times, and for the Athenian League representative side, and was a member of the Middlesex Wanderers. Prematurely bald, he displayed intelligent anticipation and interception of the opposing forwards. Between 1951 and 1955 he made 97 appearances for Hayes, scoring just one goal. Strangely, this goal came in his last regular match for Hayes at the end of the 1953-4 season; he played two further matches in 1954-5, when he stepped in at outside-right and centre-forward owing to a shortage of fit players. I selected him at right-back for my Hayes Greatest XI in the programme of 26.1.2002. Dave’s Hayes career was not limited to playing, however; he was appointed team manager in 1954 and 1st team secretary, as well, in 1955. He resigned as manager in 1955 after a disastrous start to the season and was replaced by Alex ‘Jock’ Weir; and he stepped down as secretary in 1958. During his period in office, however, he saw Hayes win the Athenian League for the only time, and reach the semi-final of the Amateur Cup in 1957. In 1959 he was again elected 1st team secretary and then team manager again, finally resigning in the summer of 1960, owing to domestic difficulties, although he remained on the selection committee. In later years, Dave was reported as attending a match in October 1972 and was invited as a club guest to the FA Cup tie with Fulham in 1991, but did not attend, owing to the illness of his wife. Certainly a member of the Hayes Hall of Fame.
John Brown was born at Yiewsley in 1866, the son of the licensee of the Anchor Inn. In 1893 he married the daughter of Joseph Odell, the licensee of the Adam & Eve public house in Uxbridge Road, Hayes, thus building a connection with the original Hayes FC, of which he became a committee member in 1906, and with a future Botwell Mission stalwart, Sonny Long, who was his nephew by marriage. He took over the licence of the Railway Arms Hotel, Botwell, then a country inn on the edge of a brickfield. He invited his cousin, Thomas Clayton, after whom the road in which the council school eventually stood was named, to found the Hayes Development Company, which lay at the base of the sudden growth of Hayes from a population of 2,500 at the turn of the century, to a high point of 80,000. Brown himself took an active part in the early development of the town, building a large number of houses in Blyth Road and Clayton Road, Botwell, and in Station Road, Harlington, where he lived the latter years of his life. Indeed, his obituary in the Middlesex Advertiser calls him the “father of modern Hayes”. He was a member of Hayes Parish Council, which became an Urban Council in 1904, and was vice-chairman for three years from 1910. During the Great War he worked for three nights per week at Ealing Hospital, taking wounded Australian soldiers for drives in his car every free afternoon. After the war, he resumed his civic duties as a member of Harlington Parish Council, Staines Rural Council and Hayes & Harlington Council. Later he was chairman of the Public Health and Housing Committee for 1930-1. But he was best known for his connection with Hayes Football Club. He was elected president of Botwell Mission at the AGM in 1922 and continued either in this capacity or as chairman or both until his death, on 15 January 1939. Indeed, it is recorded that his last inquiry on his death bed was after the result of Saturday afternoon’s game (a surprising defeat in the Amateur Cup by Southwick). He was known for the advice which he gave to his players, “Goals count, don’t forget, goals count”.
Ralph Brown was one of the five Wimbledon players who joined Hayes for their first season in the Athenian League in 1930-1, when the club made its one and only appearance in the Amateur Cup final. Of the five, Ralph stayed the longest. He was already 25 when he came to Cox’s Meadow, having toured Germany during the summer of 1930 as a guest with Ilford, the Amateur Cup holders, and had also previously played for Dulwich Hamlet. But he had the misfortune to miss the final, owing to injury. He continued to play for Hayes until 1935, even captaining the club in 1934-5, when he went briefly to Uxbridge, before returning as player coach of the reserves in 1936-7. He made a total of 173 appearances and scored at least 72 goals. He was selected for Middlesex, and for the Southern Counties in the annual international trial against the North, at Leyton in 1932, but was released from the match and played for Hayes instead. At the end of the war he became 2nd XI team manager, but resigned in December 1945, owing to ill health. In fact, he became seriously ill in Mount Vernon Hospital in March 1946, and a collection was held at the FA Cup tie with Uxbridge in October 1946, raising £26-2s-0d. He obviously got over this, as he was reported as attending the Amateur Cup tie with Norwich OBU in January 1972, together with former team-mate Jack Maskell.
A namesake, another Ralph Brown, initials ‘RH’, played for Hayes at the same time as the former (‘RC’). He came from Southall and played 29 games at wing-half, with two at centre-forward, in 1937-8, without finding the net.
For the sake of completeness, it should be recorded that RC’s brother, Bill Brown, also played for Hayes. He spent most of his time in the reserves, but played a single game at half-back in each of the seasons 1931-2, 1935-6 and 1936-7. In the middle of this period, he played for Hounslow, at least in 1932-3.
The last of the names is probably the best known – Terry Brown. He joined Hayes from local football as a 19 year-old and made his début against Enfield in April 1971. He became a regular during the next season, and got a taste for the big occasion as a member of the team which first defeated Football League opposition in Bristol Rovers. He caught the attention of scouts from Fulham and Millwall, and was selected for the FA Amateur XI. After two seasons, he joined Sutton briefly and then moved to Slough, before rejoining Hayes in August 1977, where he stayed until October 1979. In both spells he made a total of 135+13 appearances, and scored 45 goals. He then left for Wokingham, where he played well into the 1980s, before being appointed assistant coach to Ernie Howe in 1987, and full coach in 1989. He remained in this capacity until he joined Hayes as team manager in December 1993. At Hayes he took over an ailing club at the foot of the Isthmian League table. By astute coaching and attracting the players that he wanted, he turned things around to the extent that his team led the table until near the end of the 1994-5 season, creating the springboard from which the club could make a realistic assault on the league championship in 1995-6. By now he was general manager, rolling in the responsibilities of marketing the club as well as getting results on the field of play. His skills were also recognised by the Isthmian League, when he was appointed team manager of the league’s representative side in October 1995. His honest approach built a strong team spirit and promotion was achieved in 1996. The years in the Conference which followed showed what could be achieved by a gifted manager on a comparative shoestring. Third place in 1998-9 was an amazing achievement. As the Ferdinand money ran out, every season became a battle against relegation. Finally, when it looked as if he had run out of ideas, he resigned to take the job of manager at Aldershot Town. While the way in which it was done can be faulted, most supporters could not blame him. With the greater resources which a club like Aldershot could offer him, he succeeded where bigger names before him had failed. Statistics speak louder than words. Brown’s record as a manager at Hayes was:
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