Hayes & Yeading United Football Club

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Wilks - Williams

John WilksAs we progress towards the end of this 3-year project, we reach one of the most eminent Hayes players of recent times.  But first of all John Wilks.  John, whose brother Alan played for Gillingham, was an industrial chemist, who had spent four years working in Zambia before joining Hayes from Slough Town at the very end of the 1971-2 season. He had played in the Zambian national league, including a match against the touring Leicester City side. At Hayes he immediately slotted into the defence and was a member of the side which defeated Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup in November 1972. He played two full seasons at Church Road, making 111+5 appearances and scoring four goals, before moving to Wokingham in 1974.

Eleven players by the name of Williams have played for Hayes. The first of these was also the most significant. Although educated at Townfield Road School in Hayes, Derek Williams’ first club was Hendon. While at Claremont Road he had also assisted West Ham United in midweek fixtures. He signed for Hayes in 1950 at the age of 21 and made his début at right-half in the 5-0 win at Cambridge City on 9 December. The following week he Derek Williamsfeatured in the 7-2 home win over Finchley, but was not selected again until the last match of the season, a defeat at Enfield. It was hard to break into a half-back line of Stan Bacon, Frank Bridges and George Gilles, but, when Bridges was posted to Malta and his replacement, Bill Nuth, showed himself inadequate, Derek took his chance. From September 1951 he became a regular, first of all at right-half, and finally at his preferred position of centre-half. But the acquisition of Gordon Wilkinson in 1952 and the return of Frank Bridges in 1953 again reduced Derek to an occasional first-teamer. The break-through came in February 1954, when he replaced Bridges at centre-half and became first-choice for the next four seasons. During this period he won representative honours with Middlesex, London and FA teams, and he was a member of the side which won the Athenian League championship in 1956-7. He was also a member of the team which won the Middlesex 6-a-side tournament for three years running, at Yiewsley in 1956 and 1957, and at Griffin Park in 1958.  He remained first-choice until December 1958, when he sustained an injury too his ribs and lost his place to Dave Hall from Yiewsley, and was unable to regain it. While unfit to pla y, he even ran the line in a match against Hounslow Town as a replacement for the appointed official. Although selected at right-half, when Ian Gilson left, he preferred to play at centre-half in the reserves. He was cup-tied for a reserve fixture and turned out instead for Maidenhead United in the Corinthian League and scored a goal in a win over Erith & Belvedere. He resigned from Hayes in January 1959 and joined Maidenhead United. But his heart was at Hayes and he returned as 2nd XI coach in August 1959, when he was advised to take a long rest from football owing to a knee injury, and was then appointed club physiotherapist. It was while he was in this capacity that George Wilkins was sacked and Derek took over temporarily as coach, and improved team morale and results with his lighter training regime. Although he had officially retired, he still played from time to time. In emergency, he played at Finchley in the last match of the 1960-1 season, and in November 1961 he was playing for Old Southallians, for whom he scored a hat-trick. But his boldest return came in October 1962 when he turned out at the age of 33 at centre-half against Derek Williams (2005)Brentford at Griffin Park in a London Challenge Cup match and held together a young defence, going down to only a 1-2 defeat. He played twice more during the extended 1962-3 season, after which he announced his retirement. But his final bow was in a semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup against old foes Southall in April 1965, 15 years after his début. During this period, he had made 253 appearances and scored 10 goals. In terms of elapsed service, this is bettered only by Sonny Long, Alf Sceeny and Freddie Knight from the Botwell Mission days. In recognition of his services to Hayes FC, Derek was voted Clubman of the Year in 1974, and was awarded a gold watch for 25 years’ service by club president Len Goodall. He is still a regular spectator at Church Road, as the photograph aside, taken in 2005, shows.

John E Williams was an inside-right, who joined Hayes from Romford in August 1952. A schoolteacher and Welsh amateur international triallist, he played only once, against Hendon in the Middlesex Charity Cup.

A contemporary of Derek’s was his namesake Ken Williams. He joined Hayes in 1954, having played for Acton, Brentford and Chiswick schools the previous season. He went up to London University in 1955 to study medicine and made his first-team début in September 1955 at right-half. He played 11 matches over the season. Although selected for the opening match of the 1956-7 season, he had to withdraw owing to a grumbling appendix, which needed to be taken out but caused complications. When he was fit to play, he immediately broke a shoulder bone and missed the rest of the championship season. He made a further 21 appearances in 1957-8, but then went to Hounslow Town, for whom he played several times against Hayes, including on the occasion when Derek Williams ran a line. By 1964 he was a fully qualified medical doctor, practising in the United States.

Maurice Williams came from QPR in March 1961, where he played for their Combination team. He was a left-back and went on the Whitsun tour of Switzerland. After only five competitive starts, he left at the start of the 1961-2 season and joined Hendon. He later played for Finchley and Hounslow Town and was assistant manager at Walton & Hersham in 1969-70 and manager of Maidenhead United in 1970.

Goalkeeper Keith Williams joined Hayes in August 1966 at the age of 18 from local side St Thomas' Saints as stand-in for regular keeper John Pratt. His chances to play were few and were further reduced when he broke a leg in 1967. Over three seasons he made 23 appearances, before following assistant manager Al Riches to Viking Sports in July 1969.

Gwyn Williams was yet another Welsh schoolteacher, who qualified at Borough Road College, Isleworth, and taught at Twyford School, Acton. He joined Hayes in September 1970 at the age of 22, having previously played for Wembley and made 7+4 appearances at full-back in the club's final season in the Athenian League. He later joined Southall and played against Hayes in January 1973.

Dean Williams was one of two centre-forwards of the name who were signed by Terry Brown to add fire-power in the push for promotion in 1995-6. When he joined in December 1995 at the age of 25 from Aylesbury United for a fee reported to be £6,000, he had already played for a host of clubs, including St Albans City, Stevenage Borough, Brentford, Doncaster Rovers, Hemel Hempstead Town, Chesham United, Wokingham Town and Cambridge United. Although he had a reputation for being good in the air, when he came to he Hayes he was clearly not match-fit and struggled to gain a place. He made only 7+1 appearances, scoring five goals, before being sent on loan to Chesham United in February 1996, and then Hitchin Town in April to regain match-fitness. He did not play again for Hayes.

Gary WilliamsAdelaide-born Gary Williams, 25, was signed by Terry Brown from Hitchin Town just before the transfer window was closed in March 1996 to add the fire power which he felt was missing in the push for promotion. And it worked. Gary scored eight goals in 11 games, including two of the vital goals at Carshalton Athletic with powerful headers. His previous clubs had been Luton Town, Vauxhall Motors, Stevenage Borough and Baldock Town. During Hayes’ first season in the Conference, Gary started as centre-forward, but was successfully converted to centre-back as the season progressed. But his job as a policeman made it difficult for him to travel to some of the distant venues, so he returned to Hitchin at the end of the 1996-7 season, having made 52+5 appearances and scored 16 goals. Subsequently he went to Bedford Town, where he was skipper, before returning to Hitchin once again.
Dwane Williams
Diminutive Ryan Williams joined Hayes from Crystal Palace in August 2002. A versatile player, who preferred to play in midfield, he was easily brushed off the ball and made only 9+5 appearances before moving to Slough Town, and then to Boreham Wood in August 2003. He gained some revenge on Hayes when he was a member of the Boreham Wood team which knocked Hayes out of the FA Cup in October 2003.

Dwane Williams, was a midfielder, who came from Harefield United in the summer of 2003. Robbie WilliamsGifted with a magnificent physique, he instilled fear in opponents at first sight, but was as gentle as a pussy cat. In two seasons, he made 54+10 appearances and scored two goals. He went on loan to Northwood in March 2005 and rejoined Harefield United for season 2005-6, playing against Hayes in a Middlesex Senior Cup tie in December 2005.

latest player of the name, Robbie Williams, arrived in the summer of 2005 after being released by Watford and immediately became a regular, playing at either left back or centre back. Robbie only stayed a single season before his work took him away from the area. He played 42+2 games and scored just a solitary goal, importantly in the last game of the season victory that saw relegation avoided.

They also played.......
D Wilks

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