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Friday, September 29, 2023

I was a Premier League star, now I’m unemployed at 51 but I played last season and clubs are still trying to sign me

FORMER Fulham striker Barry Hayles has enjoyed a stunning 33-year career in football.

Even at the age of 51, he has no intention of hanging up his boots.

News Group Newspapers Ltd

Barry Hayles starred for Fulham in the Premier League[/caption]


Hayles scored eight goals while up front alongside Louis Saha[/caption]

Hayles in action for Windsor
Jamie McPhilimey – The Sun

However, as it stands he does find himself without a club, not that offers have not been forthcoming from suitors.

In an interview with the Daily Star, Hayles revealed he has moved into mentorship after completing last season with Windsor FC – step ten of the English football pyramid.

He told the Star: “As it happens I’m not attached to anybody – I’ve been doing mentoring with the youngsters this season instead.”

“I’ve had a few phone calls about playing but I’ve not taken any up, if it fits in with what I’m doing then I might keep on playing but there we go.”


Having joined Fulham from Bristol Rovers for a then club-record transfer of £2million, Hayles went on to play 215 games for them.

His first season in the Premier League saw him form a lucrative strike-partnership with Louis Saha before he joined Manchester United, with Hayles netting eight goals.

After six years at Craven Cottage between 1998 and 2004, he joined Sheffield United.

An extended stay in the Championship followed with the Blades being followed up by transfers to Millwall, Plymouth and Leicester.



Later on in his career Hayles turned out for the likes of Cheltenham, Truro, St Albans, Chesham and most recently Windsor.

But Hayles admitted he prefers to be in the thick of the action rather than being on the sidelines.

He continued: “This is the first season I’ve not been involved in any preseason since I was a teenager, over 30 years, I’m working for a private company now with schools.


“The coaching means I’m still involved and that’s always nice but I’m not the best from the side of the pitch, I get a bit too enthusiastic.

“When I played I got all the tension out and when I’m on the bench it’s all still there.

“I’ve just been assigned the P.E Teacher role essentially, a few of them really want to progress and I’m going to try to help them do what I did.”

In total his journeyman career has seen him net 134 goals across English football.


September 10, 2023 at 10:33PM

from The Sun

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