Martin Hackett was Hayes manager from August 1978 until December 1979. He had played for Brentford, Wimbledon, Hendon and Wembley, where he became player-manager and then manager in a stay which lasted 12 years, before following Eric May to Church Road in the wake of the sacking of Bobby Ross and Derek Goodall’s resignation as chairman. His curious boast at the time was that he had never even seen Hayes play, although the two clubs had met several times during his time at Wembley. He immediately appointed his assistant at Wembley, Peter Phillips, to the same post at Hayes. During his tenure Hayes finished 18th in 1978-9 and had their best start to an Isthmian season by the start of October 1979, with seven wins, three draws and two defeats, when a run of only two wins in 16 games raised the spectre of relegation. But under him Hayes also had its best run in the FA Trophy, going out to Runcorn in the quarter-finals and reaching the final of the League Cup. During his time at Church Road, Martin had his problems with players, most notably with Dave Yerby and Reg Leather, but his end came about more from boardroom animosities than anything else, and also went back to the Wembley connection. When Eric May tried to extend his financial powerbase within the Football Club, eight members of the board resigned and May was sacked by Bill Goodall, the club patron. Although Goodall stressed that this action need not affect the playing management of the club, Martin resigned, together with his assistant. Obviously he felt that, with May gone, his continued tenure of his own position was only a matter of time.
In the dark days of February 2002, with relegation staring him in the face, Terry Brown played his last throw of the dice, bringing in several former professionals, who did not deliver, and Steve Hale from Northwood. Steve had been around the local non-league scene for years – he had started with Uxbridge and also played for Egham, Yeading, Ruislip Manor, Wealdstone, Beaconsfield SYCOB and Northwood, where he struck up an effective partnership with Lawrence Yaku. His travels had earned him the nickname of ‘The Journeyman’. Wherever he had gone, he had scored goals. But the Conference was one league too far. His willingness and general attitude could not be faulted, as befits his job as an ambulance paramedic. Who was the last player off the pitch at Hereford as the result of the Woking match was awaited on the electronic scoreboard? But he was clearly out of his depth at this level. He made 8+5 appearances and scored a single goal, at Forest Green. At the end of the season he moved to Slough, then to Northwood again, Maidenhead and Oxford City. Ever a journeyman.
Dave Hall signed amateur forms with Arsenal in 1950, and then joined Wycombe Wanderers, before doing his National Service in the RAF, whom he represented in inter-service matches. He then joined Yiewsley in the Corinthian League, established himself as a rugged centre-half and took over the captaincy. He resigned from Yiewsley in February 1958, surprisingly, when that club announced its intention of turning professional in the Southern League, and joined Wealdstone. At the end of the season, he went back to Yiewsley, but resigned again in December 1958 and came to Hayes at the age of 28. He immediately claimed the centre-half spot as his own and, when Johnny Bartholomew had to miss a match in March 1959, Dave had the versatility to move up to centre-forward and scored a hat-trick. He played in the forward line for the next five matches, scoring two more goals. But he wanted to move back to centre-half; the problem was that Vic Watson had taken Dave’s preferred position and was playing so well that he could hardly be dropped. So Dave was named as reserve for a show-piece friendly against Arsenal. He regained the number five shirt for the last match of the season, but, after the opening match of the 1959-60 season, he announced that he would be not be able to play regularly for the rest of the season owing to his work commitments as a shipping manager, and in October he resigned from Hayes and joined Uxbridge, where his friend Freddie South was playing. He made 20 appearances for Hayes and scored six goals. He continued playing for Uxbridge until a bad nose injury, which required two operations, forced him to give up football. But he started playing occasionally for Harefield United in 1962-3 and then returned to Uxbridge where he was still playing in 1965. He moved north to Bury during the late 1960s.
Unlike his namesake, Mark Hall was very definitely a forward. He first made his mark at Hayes when he played against them for Grays in an FA Cup tie which required three matches in September 1996. He led Jon Brady a merry dance and Terry Brown immediately signed him. He had previously played for Tottenham Hotspur, Southend United and Torquay United, and briefly at Dover. He was a tricky player, who put in some notable performances both in the forward line and in midfield. His goal at Woking in March 1997, when Martin Randall had run the ball out of defence, and his brace against Doncaster in September 1998 were memorable. During his spell at Hayes he made 94+20 appearances, scoring 15 goals, and was capped by Barbados, but he seemed to drop out of favour, often found himself on the bench and was transferred to Slough for £10,000 in January 1999. At Slough he suffered from long-term injuries.
Finally, Steve Hardwick was a stylish full-back, who joined in December 1983 after having been out of football for 18 months. He had previously played for Wycombe Wanderers for 3 years, and Slough Town. He made 58+2 appearances for Hayes and scored just one goal, in the 75th anniversary match against Middlesex Wanderers. He was released by George Goode in July 1985.