Hayes & Yeading United Football Club

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*** N ***

22 players whose names start with the letter N have played for Hayes. But what the letter lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality.

We start the letter with one of the club’s greatest sons and a member of the Hall of Fame. It is no exaggeration to say that  DGS (Derek) Neate, had he not suffered from terrible injuries and had the misfortune to be a contemporary of George Robb at Finchley, would certainly have won international caps. He joined Hayes in 1947 as an extremely fast and two-footed winger, who could play on either flank. He ran the 100 yards in 10.7 seconds in July 1950. He also took only size 4 boots. He made his debut against Bromley in October 1948 and became an immediate fixture in the team. He received early recognition, when he was selected for an FA XI against Cambridge University in October 1949, and was travelling reserve for Middlesex in January 1950. He finally made the starting XI for his county in December 1951, by which time he had already passed a century of appearances for Hayes and registered a hat-trick in the Amateur Cup replay with Boldmere St Michaels. But all his promise was cut short at Enfield in May 1952, when he suffered a badly broken leg, which kept him in plaster and out of football for a whole season. When he returned he had put on weight and was not as fast, but still pretty effective, although more prone to injury. When it was apparent that he was not going to win the ultimate honours of the amateur game, he turned professional with Brighton & Hove Albion in April 1955 at the advanced age of 29, having made 221 appearances and scored 55 goals for Hayes. He went on to make 24 league appearances for Brighton, scoring six goals. In 1960 he was player-manager of Bognor Regis in the Sussex Premier League and is still remembered there with affection. He still lives at Lancing. His son, Stephen, a goalkeeper, signed for Hayes in 1972, but did not make a first-team appearance.

Considering that he played few games for Hayes, Danny Needham has an interesting story to tell. Originally from Hertfordshire, where he had played for Hitchin Town, he was a regular for Luton Town reserves, when he was posted to Henley in the RAF. There he started playing for Uxbridge, when he was not needed by Luton, and he played  against Hayes in a Middlesex Charity Cup match in December 1945. After the game he was approached by a member of Hayes FC to play for them, but he stayed with Luton and Uxbridge. However, he eventually joined Hayes in July 1946 and started the new season with a bang, scoring a hat-trick in the opening game of the season against Barking. Hayes lost both the next two matches 6-1, and he failed to turn up for the fourth, a preliminary round FA Cup tie against Pressed Steel (Cowley), and was dropped from the team. In a fit of pique, he rejoined Uxbridge and played for them against Hayes in the 3rd qualifying round. However, he was back at Hayes before the end of the season. A cryptic note in a review of the season said that Needham ‘might have done better with inside forwards who suit his style’, whatever that may have meant. Then he returned to Uxbridge, but next played for Hayes in a curious pre-season match in July 1948. To help them with their preparations for the upcoming competition, Hayes put together a hastily arranged side against the Indian Olympic XI. The Hayes side contained former keeper Alf Simmonds, Ron Gadsden and John Gregory, with Kelly and Needham of Uxbridge and Watson of Kingstonian as guests. A crowd of 5,000, who were given free entry, saw the Indians win 4-1. In May 1950, when Hayes had an enormous backlog of fixtures caused by long runs in several cup competitions, players were borrowed from several clubs, among them Danny Needham from Uxbridge. He obviously enjoyed himself and signed for Hayes for the 1950-1 season. But history repeated itself, although this time Needham had some justification for his actions. He was in the line-up for the opening match of the season and scored two goals in the first five league matches, and then scored a hat-trick against Southall in the FA Cup. But, the following week, Mickey Dowse was preferred at centre-forward, and Needham just walked out in disgust and rejoined Uxbridge, later playing for Yiewsley. In only 15 matches he had scored 10 goals and was obviously capable enough at this level. But he seems not to have harboured any lingering hostility to Hayes, for his son played for the reserves in the 1970s, without ever making the first team. An interesting story for someone who played so few games.

Alan NelmesAfter a long career with Brentford, whom he joined from Chelsea and for whom he made 350 appearances over nine seasons, Alan ‘Spider’ Nelmes went to Hillingdon Borough, and from there joined Hayes in August 1977. He lived at Isleworth and worked at the Watney brewery at Mortlake, and stayed only one season, making 51+3 appearances, and later played for Southall.

Ronnie Nelson joined Hayes on loan from Watford in September 1978 at the aRonnie Nelsonge of 18, and signed a contract in December. While he promised much, he was short on delivery, as the number of substitute appearances which he made suggests. Initially he stayed with Hayes only a year before joining Walton & Hersham, for whom he scored 10 goals in 50 games, roughly the same ratio as with Hayes. He found his scoring form at a lower level with 30 goals for Feltham in 1981-2, before moving to Harrow Borough. He rejoined Hayes in exchange for Robbie Johnson in the summer of 1984, but once again failed to deliver. He was released by George Goode in July 1985, having made a total of 58+42 appearances and having scored only 15 goals. He later played for Ruislip Town and for Ruislip Manor.

 Eddie NewtonHayes supporters could hardly believe their eyes, when Terry Brown signed Eddie Newton, who had played and scored in the FA Cup final for Chelsea only two seasons previously, in November 2000. But the truth was immediately apparent – although he had the brain of a Premiership player, his knees had gone. He was more of an influence than an active participant in the six matches which he started. Nevertheless, he inspired an unlikely 1-0 victory at Boston United, which put an end to a run seven successive defeats, which saw only one goal scored and 18 conceded.

In the second post-war season, Phil Nolan burst on the scene both as a goal-scorer and a goal-maker. Known as ‘Nobby’, he scored 21 goals in 39 games in 1946-7, and played just one more game the following season, before turning professional with Watford. Bill NuthThereafter, for several seasons, new forwards would all be compared to him – Roy Bailey, for instance, was described as ‘a slow-moving but effective and clever inside-forward of the Nolan type’. During his time with Hayes he was twice selected for Middlesex. 

Gilbert Nuako joined Hayes in the summer of 2006 and went on to be almost ever present at left-back during the final pre-merger season. He joined from Harefield United and continued to improve throughout the season making 47 appearancesGilbert Nuako without finding the net.

In March 1950 Hayes had a titanic struggle with Edgware Town in the quarter-finals of the Middlesex Senior Cup, and needed three matches to overcome their Corinthian League opponents, at a time when they were making a serious challenge for the Athenian League championship. One of the reasons for Hayes’ difficulty were the performances of Edgware centre-half Bill Nuth. He was already a Middlesex county player, and obviously impressed the Hayes committee to such an extent that he was brought in as a replacement for the ageing Frank Bridges for the 1951-2 season. But he failed to impress at Church Road, and gave way to Derek Williams, after just 17 appearances, and returned to Edgware, where he stayed until 1954.

They also played.......
Joe Nartey jnr
Dave Neville
Graham Newberry
Johnny Newman
L Nicholls
Mark Nicholls
W "Bill" Nicholls
1947-48 &
Colin Norman
Perry Norman
? Norris
Stan Northover
Peter Nott
A Nuttall
Kofi Nyamah

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