Howell - Hylton
The first player in this last "H" section is the tragic figure of Mickey Howell, the only Hayes player to lose his life while playing for the club. He went to Holland Park School, where he was coached by then Hounslow manager Roy Ruffell, and represented London Schools and had a trial for England schoolboys. A civil servant, he followed Roy Ruffell to Hayes in 1980. He was a strong header of the ball, and possessed of a very long throw-in, but was one-footed although shortly before his death, he was invited to take part in trials for Wimbledon. He was a utility player, and even played in goal at Bishops Stortford and acquitted himself well in a Hayes win. He was voted Player of the Year for 1981-2 and was a member of the winning London and Middlesex Senior Cup teams of the early eighties. His death occurred when he clashed with his brother David (Harrow’s current manager) in an Easter match at Harrow Borough. He sustained a slight cut to his eyelid and was led off to have it stitched, but he sadly collapsed and died in the dressing room just before half-time. In his time at Hayes he had played 114+26 games and scored 28 goals.
Stan Hudson was a 6’ 3” right-back, who joined Hayes from Leyton in November 1948 as a replacement for Doug Cameron, when he went to Bromley. He was an East Londoner and had played for West Ham Schools. Because of his height he was a high-jumper and became a PT instructor in the Navy during World War II. Known as ‘Soapy’, he had a powerful and accurate long kick, and was a penalty expert. During his eight seasons at Hayes, he played 173 games and scored six goals, and was selected for both the Athenian League side and for Middlesex FA in the final of the Southern Amateur Championship against his native Essex in 1952. One of those goals was a long-remembered drop-shot from the half-way line against Leyton in the Amateur Cup in December 1954, it was also the winning goal. In later life he was a Sales Manager for a Chigwell-based company.
Our next entry, Joe Hunter, had he lived at another time, would have been lauded. As it is, we have mainly his statistics to go by: 158 appearances at centre-forward, inside-left and outside-left between Easter 1933 and April 1938, and 62 goals. We don’t even have a photograph of him. Born in 1913, he learned his football in the soccer hot-bed of County Durham and accompanied the likes of Leslie Smith and Len Townsend, and played in some significant matches, such as the FA Cup tie at Bournemouth in 1933, the final of the London Senior Cup in 1937, both matches with Arsenal in the London Challenge Cup, and several Middlesex finals.
Gary Huxley, a goal-scoring outside-left, was one of several players to join Hayes from Dartford in the Southern League in the late seventies/early eighties. An England youth international, he had been a member of Brentford juniors under Roy Ruffell and joined at the same time as Mickey Howell, having spent seven seasons with clubs in the Southern League: Hillingdon Borough, Weymouth, Chelmsford, Aylesbury and Dartford. Despite his travels, he worked as a maintenance engineer at Heathrow and lived at Chiswick. He scored 19 goals for Hayes in 72+10 appearances – his most memorable goals were the two in the London Senior Cup final against Staines in 1981, bringing the cup back to Church Road exactly 50 years after the previous occasion. By a twist of irony, he went on loan to Staines in October 1981, returned two matches late, was suspended by Roy Ruffell, and released in January 1982. He joined Chesham United and later played for Farnborough and Windsor & Eton.
In more recent times, Freddie Hyatt was everybody’s favourite ratcatcher. Whoever he played for, when his club reached the first round proper of the FA Cup, he became the tabloid press’s story. Starting with Hounslow, he later played for Burnham and then Wokingham, from whom he joined Hayes in 1995 for a small fee. A midfielder, with a powerful shot and a long throw-in, he was a member of the Isthmian League winning side in 1996 and continued into the Conference era. He made 54+17 appearances and scored six goals, before moving to Hendon. He subsequently played for Chelmsford City, St Albans City and Bishop's Stortford.
Earlier, we remembered the three Holsgrove brothers, who played in the same side at the same time – now we have another set of three brothers, the Hydes. But they couldn’t play in the same team, because they were all goalkeepers. As with the Holsgroves, age did not necessarily determine the sequence in which they played for Hayes.
The oldest brother was Mark Hyde. He had previously played for Harefield United and Hillingdon, when he joined Hayes in 1986. He made 24 appearances for Hayes until he was replaced by brother Paul who returned from injury. Even so, he was elected Sportsman of the Year. He then joined Yeading for the start of the 1987-8 season and was promptly banned for four matches because he had not resigned from Hayes. He later played for Windsor and Hillingdon.
Next came Craig Hyde, who made just two appearances in 1986 as a stand-in for his brother Paul and he later emigrated to Australia.
But it was the youngest brother, Paul Hyde, who had the most illustrious career. Joining Hayes from Hillingdon Borough at the start of the 1983-4 season, he soon started receiving honours: Isthmian League, Middlesex County and FA XI representative honours, Player of the Year in 1984-5 and 1985-6, Supporters’ Player of the Year 1987-8. In eight seasons he made 414 appearances and was twice ever-present. Twice he played in the forward line – against Tooting in April 1985 and Barking in December 1989. He joined Wycombe Wanderers at the start of 1991-2 season for a small fee. For the Chairboys he made 112 Conference, 105 Football League and 31 cup appearances, before following Martin O’Neill to Leicester City. He later played for Leyton Orient and was with Dover for many years, as player and coach, frequently appearing at Church Road in Conference matches, as he did for Welling United in 2006 in a Conference South fixture where he was a non playing substitute.
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