Chudley - Collins
After the lengthy CVs in the last page, here we cover many more players in less detail. Not because we know nothing about them, but because they are generally of less significance to the story of Hayes FC.
First up is Alex Chudley, who joined Hayes from Cardiff Corinthians in 1932, at the age of 19, when his family moved to the district. After a season mainly in the reserves, his first-team career spanned the 1930s, right up to the war. He made 186 appearances and scored 31 goals. He was described as “a great little player” and “stout-hearted, enthusiastic, robust, a 90-minute player.” He came as a wing-half, but could play at inside-forward equally well. While captain of the club he suffered a bad injury in the Amateur Cup tie with ICI Alkali in February 1937, which necessitated a cartilage operation and kept him out of football for nearly a year. At Hayes he sometimes featured in an all-Welsh half-back line with DL Davies and Jack Richards. He played in several Welsh international trials, and regularly represented Middlesex. When Hayes FC disbanded in 1940, he played for Hayes Wasps and then for Southall in 1941-2. After the war he continued to play for Southall and broke a leg playing for their reserve team at Hayes in early 1947. In 1948-9 he was on the Southall committee.
Danny Clapton (not the more famous Arsenal winger) joined Hayes in mid-October 1975 from the Johannesburg club in South Africa, where he had spent 5 months. He had previously spent 4½ years with Tottenham Hotspur, and was a member of the Spurs side which defeated Hayes in the final of the last-ever London Challenge Cup in 1974. While at Hayes, he was ‘doing the knowledge’ to become a London taxi driver. He joined Tooting in December 1976 after playing 30+2 games and scoring eight goals.
We don’t have to cast our memories very far back to recall Dean Clark. He joined Hayes from Brentford, having been on loan at Uxbridge for most of 2000-1. He was a skillful and intelligent attacking mid-fielder, who topped the goalscoring charts in both his seasons at Hayes, before being snapped up by Woking for a bargain fee in March 2003. He was also a dead-ball specialist and penalty-taker and I don’t recall him failing to score from the spot. But his skills were often not appreciated by the crowd, who seem to be more impressed by effort. He played 81+8 times for Hayes and scored 28 goals. At Woking he rarely got even on the bench and was loaned to Lewes in November 2003, scoring twice on his début. He joined Northwood in March 2004 and scored twice in his first game against...Hayes.
Paul Clarke merits an entry for one reason – he scored the only goal of the replayed FA Cup tie with Cardiff at Griffin Park in 1990. A Geordie, he mingled the unlikely careers of a groundsman and financial advisor. He arrived from Feltham in 1989 at the age of 17 and in three seasons made 76+20 appearances, scoring 29 goals. He was selected several times for the Isthmian League representative team, before joining Walton & Hersham, followed by Staines (1993-4), Egham and Bedfont (1995-6).
In the 1950s, when foreign sides were experimenting with systems other than the received ‘WM’ formation, which had been around since the 1920s, Jim Clarkson tried to introduce 4-2-4 at the start of the 1958-9 season, as a direct result of Brazil winning World Cup in Sweden, but was forced to abandon it, when the players complained that they did not know what they were supposed to be doing. Clarkson was an FA Coach and handled the London University team, whose intelligence and adaptability must have been higher than Hayes’. But he did succeed in taking over the team selection role for 6 weeks with great success, always a bone of contention with Hayes coaches, whose knowledge would be overruled by a committee of gentlemen in blazers. Eventually, however, he had to decide between coaching the university team or Hayes and chose the former.
In the build-up towards the 1939-40 season, Percy Codd was signed from Northfleet FC, before their merger with Gravesend. He was a full-back and his career with Hayes spanned the war years until 1947. Despite the five-year gap, he still managed to play 69 games for Hayes, scoring one goal, and was elected captain for 1946-7. As the season progressed, he lost his place to Jim Scully, and joined Southall in 1947, for whom he had played during the war years in the Middlesex & Herts Combination, as Hayes had disbanded. He was later to be found still playing for Tooting & Mitcham in 1950. He replaced Ron Gadsden in the Athenian League representative side in 1946
Alf Cole owes his place here more to his ability to stick around than anything which he achieved. He came from Farnham United Breweries and was on Hayes’ books from 1927 to 1932, when he joined Hounslow. Then he played for Hayesco and, upon that club’s demise, rejoined Hayes in 1937. Over this whole period he made 34 appearances, mainly at full-back, but also wherever there was a gap.
Alf’s namesake and later contemporary, Fred Cole, took over in goal from Don Wallage in 1934 and became the regular keeper. During the season he signed on amateur forms for Brentford and opted to play for their Combination side from 1935-6. He made a few appearances for Hayes in 1937-8, and another towards the end of the 1944-5 season in the Dauntless League, but his total came only to 29. He signed on for Hayes for season 1945-6, but played in goal for Enfield against Hayes in January 1946.
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