When Dave Groombridge turned professional with Leyton Orient in 1951, the goalkeeper position was up for grabs. Gerry Young, Frank Rees and Ted Culver were all tried, but a permanent solution was not found until RG (Ron) Mitchell stepped up. He had started with Southgate, before joining the RAF at the age of 18, and played as an amateur with Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient before coming to Hayes in March 1951, playing in three friendly matches. At the start of the 1952-3 season he was selected as first-choice keeper and kept the position for two full seasons, making 70 appearances before joining Enfield in 1954. A piano maker by profession, he was twice selected for Middlesex during 1953-4.
Mark Molesley was the first player to come through the clubs FEDO scheme and sign a first team contract making his debut against Nuneaton in May 2000. A forward running midfield player who could create something out of nothing, Mark spent four full seasons with the Club after his debut before moving first to Cambridge City and then to Aldershot Town in the Conference National in 2006. In all he totalled 177+28 appearances and found the net on 19 occasions.
Barry Moore, who joined Hayes from Hampton for a fee of £5,800 in the summer of 1998, was a baby-faced terrier. He had started with Malden Vale and joined Hampton as an 18-year-old. He was hugely influential in midfield, scoring 20 goals, as Hampton won promotion from Division Two of the Isthmian League. He took time to settle into the Hayes midfield, but slowly claimed a place as of right. In three seasons he made 103+15 appearances and scored 23 goals, including a hat-trick against Bedfont in a County Cup match. When he moved to Woking in 2001, he was an immediate hit and was voted Player of the Year in his first season, but was then released when his tougher side came to the fore and resulted in several dismissals. He played briefly for Crawley Town, including a Trophy match at Hayes, before trying his luck in the United States. Finally he returned to Lewes in 2003 but has since moved on.
HA (Harold) Moore was a highly thought of inside-forward or wing-half, who joined on loan from Metropolitan Police in May 1950, when Hayes were playing fixtures most days of the week because of a fixture back-log, and joined permanently in the summer. Known as ‘Pony’, he held his own in a side which held on to second place and then lost only three league matches and finished in a comfortable third place the following season. Thereafter he played only twice more over the two following seasons, totalling 44 appearances and scoring one goal.
Although he joined Hayes as a player from QPR in 1966 at the age of 17, Peter Moran has spent more time in football management. A left-back, he spent three seasons at Church Road, but made only 40+3 appearances, scoring one goal. He joined Maidenhead United in 1969 with Tony Jackett, and was on the coaching staff at Ruislip Manor in 1973-4. Appointed manager in June 1975, he joined Harefield United one year later, considering them to be more ambitious. In June 1979 he left to become Commercial Manager at Wimbledon. By 1983 he was at Northwood as coach, and a year later joined Bromley Park Rangers (later to assume the name of Hillingdon Borough upon the demise of the former Yiewsley club). But he was sacked a year later, and in September 1986 he was appointed manager of Northwood. By 1993 he was working for Yeading, but left in upsetting circumstances and became joint manager of Viking Sports in July 1995.
A conspiracy of silence surrounds the life and footballing exploits of Jack Morgan. All I have been able to gather of this centre-forward is that he made at least 21 appearances (the details of some matches were never reported) and scored 25 goals in the wonderful season of 1930-1. Where he came from is not recorded. He played his first game for Hayes at the end of October and participated in the Amateur Cup run from the 2nd qualifying to the 2nd round proper, before he lost his place to Taffy Lloyd. He did not play again in the competition until the final, when he was a late replacement for the injured Ralph Brown. He also won a winner’s medal in the Middlesex Senior Cup. After the end of the season he did not play again for Hayes, although there is no report of where he went. In 1938 he made his last appearance in the local press when he was scheduled to play for Hayes Past against Hayes Present, alongside several others of the team of 1931, but he did not play.
The Hayes career of Dave Morris is much better documented, although he played in a side which achieved much less than that of 1931. In fact his greatest achievements preceded his arrival at Hayes. As a schoolboy, he was chosen for London Schools. In senior football, starting with Wimbledon’s ‘A’ team, he joined all-conquering Barnet in 1963-4. The following season, Barnet’s last as amateurs, he scored 35 goals; he was offered professional terms by Barnet, but turned them down as he wished to follow his career as a civil engineer, and played 15 games as an amateur, but felt that his place was in jeopardy, when the Bees signed Keith Smith, brother of Spurs and England centre-forward, Bobby. As he lived only two doors from Hayes centre-forward John Cozens in Shepherds Bush, he decided to join Hayes in September 1966, at the age of 23. During his one season at Hayes he made 47 appearances and scored seven goals. On two occasions he was selected as goalkeeper in emergency and conceded only one goal, as his team collected a win and a draw. While at Hayes he was selected for the Athenian League and Middlesex representative teams and an FA XI, and also played in the Southern Counties v Northern Counties international trial at Wycombe. He went to Dagenham in 1967 and was playing for Slough Town in 1969-70.
By comparison, on and off, his namesake Keith Morris played for Hayes over a period of seven seasons. He had already been a member of the emerging Yeading side in the Middlesex League, when he started playing for Hayes in the Premier Midweek Floodlight League in 1975-6. He joined Hayes in the summer of 1976, together with Glyn ‘Popeye’ Lewis, and became a regular in the side. But he left in October 1977 for Addlestone, where he played under George Goode. When Goode was appointed assistant manager of Hayes, Morris followed him and became a regular scorer for the next three seasons. During his two spells he made 175+19 appearances and scored 55 goals. In July 1983 he left for Maidenhead United, but was soon playing successfully for recently founded Farnborough Town, for whom he enjoyed a goal-scoring encounter with Hayes in December 1985. He later played briefly for Windsor & Eton and Woking. But his last match for Hayes was as a guest in the 75th Anniversary match against Middlesex Wanderers in 1985.