Holsgrove - Howe
The three Holsgrove brothers of the early 21st century share with the Knights of the previous century the distinction of all playing in the same side.
The next brother to play for Hayes was Paul Holsgrove, the oldest. Born at Wellington in 1969, he was an intelligent centre-back or midfielder, who had played for a whole host of clubs (Aldershot, .Wokingham, Luton, Heracles, Millwall, Reading, Grimsby, Crewe, Stoke, Brighton, Hibernian, Airdrie and Darlington) before joining Hayes from Slough in October 2001. His wide experience was noticeable in the way that he organised the defence in front of him as he played a sweeper role. This experience resulted in him being appointed player-coach in summer 2002. He remained in this capacity for two seasons, when it was obvious that he was being groomed for management. But such is the unpredictability of football, that he was tempted away to play for a lesser club, despite an agreement having been reached to continue with Hayes. The decision looked a short-term one at the time and still does. An indication of the easier standard of play that he had opted for was provided by the fact that, in his first four games for Windsor, he scored twice, having failed to find the net in 121+2 appearances for Hayes.
The last of the brothers to play for Hayes was Lee Holsgrove, who initially came on loan from Aldershot Town in January 2002. A central defender or defensive midfielder, who was born at Wendover in 1979 and had previously played for Millwall and Wycombe, he had the misfortune to be sent off in his first match for Hayes, in the infamous match with Dover, which saw four dismissals and a host of bookings. This match saw three brothers play in the same Hayes side for the first time since Freddie, Cyril and Ernest Knight in December 1924. He then went back to Aldershot and played a key part in the Shots’ Isthmian League championship season, but did not want to play in the Conference because of his business commitments, which would not allow him to travel countrywide. So he joined Hayes. In his only full season, he made 31+2 appearances, to add to the two in 2001-2, and scored one goal, in the FA Trophy match at Halesowen.
Our next entry, Dean Hooper, was a midfielder, who has since made a success of full-back. Having previously played for Hendon, Marlow, Yeading and Chalfont, he joined Hayes just before the transfer deadline in April 1994 and made 37+3 appearances, scoring 3 goals, before joining Swindon Town for £15,000 in February 1995. After a loan spell at Peterborough, he was dismissed by Swindon and rejoined Hayes briefly in the Conference, while looking for a more senior club. He went to Stevenage Borough and then Peterborough United under Barry Fry. He went on loan to Dagenham & Redbridge in February 2002, and then rejoined Terry Brown at Aldershot in May 2002. After protracted negotiations with Weymouth, he turned up at full-back for St Albans City against Hayes in August 2004.
Or last entry is an unsung hero - Tommy Howe. Born at Oldham in 1932, Tommy played in goal for Manchester United reserves before national service in the RAF brought him to Uxbridge. While there, he played for Southall, including the match against Hayes on Christmas Day 1953. He joined Hayes in October 1955 when the club was at a low point and short of goalkeepers and took part in the remarkable turn-around under Jock Weir. It was during this period that he played the majority of his 41 games for the club. With the arrival of Joe Lewis, Tommy joined Uxbridge, but when Lewis was injured with two matches left at the end of the 1956-7 season, and the championship of the Athenian League hung in the balance, Tommy stepped in and performed capably enough for Hayes to win the title for the only time. At the end of the season he went back to Uxbridge and later played for Hendon (1958-9) and Ruislip Manor, before returning to Hayes as cover in December 1959. He managed the Uxbridge youth team in 1964 and was Hayes reserve team secretary in 1966-7 until work pressure caused him to resign – ever since leaving the RAF he had been a farmer in Uxbridge. He harboured a passion for rugby and played for Borderers at full-back and later announced his intention of playing for Hillingdon Rugby League club in 1969-70. In January 1970, while assisting Johnny Reay in managing the reserves, he turned out when the selected keeper failed to turn up in time. The thing which typifies Tommy Howe is his reliability and his readiness to turn out when needed. Modern prima donnas would do well to follow his example.
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