Player name in full: Joe Hayes
To/from dates: 1953-1965
Number of appearances: 364
Goals scored: 152
Biography and City Career:
Joe Hayes was born in Kearsley on 20th January 1936.
Prior to becoming a footballer, Hayes worked in a cotton mill in Bolton. In August 1953 he had a trial with Manchester City, reputedly turning up carrying his boots in a brown paper parcel, scored four goals and asked for his bus fare home. Within days, he had been signed by the Blues and he made his debut two months later against Tottenham aged just 17.
By the end of the season he had made eleven appearances and shown great promise, but he struggled to retain his place at the start of the 1954-55 season. However, the teenage Hayes did manage to play in every round of the F.A. Cup, scoring against Derby and Manchester United, so it was no surprise when he was selected for the 1955 F.A. Cup Final which City lost to Newcastle United by three goals to one. He ended the season with a highly creditable15 goals from 26 games.
Twelve months later City reached the final again, and Hayes scored the opening goal in an exciting 3-1 win against Birmingham. That season also saw him as City’s leading League goal-scorer with 23 goals in 42 appearances.
His goal-scoring form continued and during the 1957-58 season he netted 25 times in 40 top division matches for a City side that finished fifth in the league. In addition, around this time Hayes played for the England U.23 team and for an F.A. Xl.
Hayes was a regular goal-scorer in the late 1950s and early 1960s for a Manchester City side that struggled in the league and cup. During the 1961-62 season he hit 16 goals in 39 matches, thus maintaining his fine strike rate. However, his place became less secure until a knee injury, occurring in September 1963 against Bury, had a noticeable effect on his abilities. First team opportunities became limited with only four appearances in two years and Hayes was transferred to Barnsley in the 1965 close season, later going on to play for Wigan Athletic.
In total, Hayes goal-scoring achievements record him as the fifth highest Manchester City goal-scorer of all time. He was rather unfortunate that, after the promise of his first couple of seasons, City seemed to cease developing as a team and Joe was not allowed to add to his F.A. Cup winner’s medal. Nevertheless, his career deserves to be remembered for the excitement and success that he helped generate during the mid-1950s. Joe Hayes was without doubt one of the key players throughout that period and into the 1960s.
Joe particularly enjoyed scoring against Manchester United – ten goals in seventeen appearances make him the joint highest derby goal-scorer alongside Francis Lee and Sergio Aguero.
Hayes was transferred to Barnsley in the 1965 close season, later going on to play for Wigan Athletic.
Joe died on 4th February 1999 at the age of 63.