Roddis - Ryan
When Hayes were promoted to the Conference in 1996, manager Terry Brown looked for a tough, ball-winning midfielder. He did not have to look far. Nick Roddis, although a Yorkshireman, whose previous clubs were Nottingham Forest and Boston United, had moved south to pursue his studies in PE and was playing for Yeading. He took time to make a regular place his own, suffering from injury and suspension, and appeared sometimes not to see eye to eye with the manager. Over four seasons he made 110+31 appearances, scoring 11 goals. It was after a seeming feud that he left Hayes to join Woking, where he was admired and won eight non-league international caps. But he fell foul of the Cards’ management when his participation as captain of a British Universities team at the World Student Games in China caused him to miss the start of a new season, so he was sacked and joined Margate. From there he rejoined Terry Brown at Aldershot, showing that he had not burnt all his bridges. Recently he has been with St Albans in a coaching capacity.
One of the few successes which Allan Harris can claim to have had during his disastrous spell at Hayes was to persuade Bobby Ross to join him from Cambridge United as assistant manager in August 1974. Bobby had had an illustrious career with Hearts (1960-3), Shrewsbury Town (1963-6), Brentford (1966-72) and Cambridge. For Brentford, where he was club captain and penalty taker, he had made more than 300 appearances and scored over 50 goals. He still lived at Southall and worked at AEC as a chassis inspector. At Hayes he survived Harris’ departure, but was overlooked as replacement, while continuing to play in midfield. Over four seasons he made 111+10 appearances and scored 19 goals. He then served under Bob Gibbs, finally taking over as manager on his retirement in October 1976. He continued as Hayes manager until the committee pushed through a split vote of no confidence in him, leading to the resignation of Derek Goodall, who had supported him, in April 1978. Although reinstated, he was sacked unanimously by the committee at the AGM in June. He later coached QPR youth.
Although he is a member of the Hayes Hall of Fame, it would be fair to say that RG (Ronnie) Rowe is better known to posterity as the father of the table tennis-playing twins, Diane and Rosalind, than for his own exploits. He came to Botwell Mission from Wimbledon in January 1929, when Mortimer Miller, who was on the committee of the Dons and company secretary of the Hayes Cocoa Company, obtained accommodation for him through the Mission’s President, John Brown, who was a property developer. Ronnie was engaged to be married at the time (the twins were born in 1933) and saw the club through the transition to Hayes FC, and from the Spartan into the Athenian League, and then to the final of the Amateur Cup in 1931 and victory in the London Senior Cup in 1932. Indeed, the final of that competition was his last game for the club. He was a versatile player, who could play at centre- or wing-half, where he had played eight times for Brentford in 1924-5, or at inside-forward. At Hayes he made 126 appearances, scoring 48 goals, before moving to Hampstead Town (now Hendon). He later played for Uxbridge and Pinner, where he was still active in 1940-1.
In recent years there have been several examples of men who have served Hayes both as player and manager. One of them was Roy Ruffell. Born in 1938, Roy joined the QPR ground staff from North Hammersmith School. After National Service in 1956-8, he joined Southall and moved to Hayes in December 1961. A right-back, he made 171 appearances and scored just two goals, both in 1962-3 season. The second of these was a crucial equaliser at Whitley Bay in the Amateur Cup, when Hayes progressed to the quarter-finals and should have gone further, had it not been his misplaced back-pass which was intercepted by a Hitchin forward in a game which Hayes dominated. During his time at Hayes, he was renowned for his rendering of High Noon at social functions. In summer 1966 he was one of the band of first-teamers who joined Harrow Town. A year later he joined Uxbridge, where he assumed the managerial role in 1969. Next stop was Brentford, where he managed the juniors under Frank Blunstone. When Blunstone went to Manchester United, Roy went to Crystal Palace as first-team assessor under Malcolm Allison. He then returned to QPR as youth team manager under Gordon Jago and then Dave Sexton. In 1973-4 he went to Hillingdon Borough as reserve team manager under Alan Hawley, and when Barry Fry was appointed, he took over as manager of Hounslow. At the start of 1979-80 he was appointed reserve team manager under Martin Hackett and, when the latter was fired, Roy was named in his place. Roy’s time as Hayes manager was marked by good cup runs, but antagonism towards players and officials, which came to a head at Christmas 1983, when several valuable players were put on the transfer list. The axe fell quickly and Roy moved to Hendon for a season, before joining Viking Sports in his last post. When Roy was around, life was never dull. Sadly Roy passed away in Dallas, Texas on 7 February 2008.
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