Cassidy - Christopher
Brian Caterer seemed to have a love-hate relationship with Hayes and several other clubs. A local from Wentworth Close, he worked as head groundsman at Little Harlington Fields in Sipson Lane. He began as a junior at Hayes, making his first-team début at centre-half in the last match of the 1961-2 season at the age of 19. He then went to Uxbridge (1962-4), Chesham (1964-5 and 1967-8)) and Southall (1965-6), before returning to Hayes for the 1968-9 season. He played the first four matches of the season and then went on holiday to Bournemouth, returning for the FA Cup tie with Brentwood. Finding that he was on the substitutes’ bench, he resigned and joined Leatherhead. It was while he was with Leatherhead that he played in the Football League for Brentford at Rochdale. He soon joined Chesham again and played in the Amateur Cup final of 1968, alongside other later Hayes players, Dave Ellis, Rod Fruen and Kenny Kent. He then went back to Leatherhead for 1969-70, and joined Hayes in August 1970 for the third and final time. He stayed for a full season, which saw Hayes knocked out in the 4th round of the Amateur Cup by one of his former clubs, Leatherhead, to a goal scored by Rod Fruen. During this stay he was selected for Middlesex, and was a late replacement for the injured Bobby Hatt for the Middlesex Wanderers in the match to celebrate Uxbridge’s centenary in May 1971. At the end of the season he rejoined Southall. During his three spells with the club, he managed 48+1 appearances, and scored twice. In 1981-2 he was manager of Woking (his assistant was Colin Lippiatt, his brother-in-law), and of Leatherhead from October 1982. Later, he managed Windsor and was sacked in January 1993.
Our next entry is another of the all-time Hayes greats, who appeared in the series Hayes Men in November 2001 and merited a place in my Greatest Hayes XI, published in the programme for the match with Yeovil in January 2002. Les Champelovier is a classic example of a local boy who nearly missed the Hayes net. Born in North Kensington and attending Wood End Park Junior School, he was recruited by Ilford, while doing National Service in the RAF, and scored for them against Hayes in the London Senior Cup in February 1954. On discharge, he joined EMI as an instrument maker, and was introduced to Hayes FC by Southall goalkeeper Ron Leakey. This was very much Hayes’ gain and Southall’s loss. He made his Hayes début at the start of 1954-5 season and played for eight full seasons, totalling 266 appearances and scoring 137 goals. Once installed in a Hayes shirt, the honours just flowed: he gained three amateur international caps, scoring a hat-trick in his first match against Wales at Peterborough – he was the last of Hayes’ four England amateur internationals; he represented Middlesex many times, London FA, the Athenian League side on seven occasions, Middlesex Wanderers, including tours of Uganda and Nigeria, Southern Counties and FA Amateur XIs. He signed amateur forms for Chelsea in 1954 and played for Brighton in the Football League. Marrying Nora Leonard in Belfast in March 1958, he found housing too expensive in the Hayes area, so he found a job at Cossor Electrics and moved to Harlow in 1962. At the time, it was hoped that he would be able to continue to play for Hayes, but he joined Harlow Town for the 1962-3 season, linking up with former Hayes players Arthur Ash, Ray Dowse and Dudley Baker, and then played for Cheshunt for a season, before playing for his works team until 1968, when a knee problem forced his retirement. While at Cheshunt, he was selected for the Spartan League against Cambridge University at his home ground. During last season he was present at both matches with Bishops Stortford, whom his daughter and family support. Words can’t express my feelings when I recognized this old servant whom I had not seen for 40 years – I recognized him by the dignity with which he carried himself on the terraces as on the pitch.
Two more recent players remain this week to laud. Lee Charles was, in my opinion, the most complete forward to play for Hayes in the Conference. Over the two seasons of his contract, his goalscoring record speaks for itself – 39 goals in 95+10 matches. But he was much more than that. He had a sophistication of body movement, which would send defenders the wrong way, and a footballing intelligence, which was often ahead of his fellow forwards. He brought the best out of Dave Stevens, for example, which was obviously lacking as soon as he moved off to Nuneaton Borough for a lucrative signing-on fee. Lee came from the Hayes area, and actually played at Church Road for Topps FC against Harefield Colts in November 1981, at the age of nine. The Hayes Gazette recorded that “Lee Charles (a pint size Cyrille Regis) grabbed himself a hat-trick to bring his season’s tally to 15, to add to his incredible 56 of last season”. His first club was Yeading, for whom he was a substitute at Wembley in that club’s FA Vase final appearance in 1990. From there he joined Chertsey Town, who sold him to QPR for £67,500. He played for QPR, before joining Hayes in 1998. At Hayes he became the first non-league international since Les Champelovier, gaining three caps. He then spent two seasons with Nuneaton Borough until he joined Aldershot Town and was reunited with Terry Brown and the rest of the former-Hayes contingent.
Finally, Ian Chatfield joined Hayes from Chelsea in 1992, aged 20. He made 94 appearances in goal over two seasons. Described as ‘erratic’, he later played for Redhill, Dorking and Crawley, and was been at Horsham from 2001, appearing on television in the FA Cup tie against Team Bath in 2002.
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