Yeovil People

Fred 'Johnny' Hayward

Holder of a football record that will never be beaten


Fred Hayward, known as Johnny, was born in Yeovil in the spring of 1887. He was the youngest of the seven children of glove cutter William Henry Hayward (b1852) and his glove machinist wife Mary Ann née Tutchings (b1853). William and Mary's children, all born in Yeovil, were; Bessie (b1876), Alice (b1878), Rose (b1881), Lilly (b1881), Charles (b1882), Louie (b1884) and Fred/Johnny.

In the 1891 census the family were listed living at 49 Wellington Street. By the time of the 1901 census, the family had moved to 141 Huish and 14-year-old Johnny was working as a solicitor's clerk. His career in law was short lived and most of his working life was spent as a glove cutter like his father. In August 1912, he married Mabel Alice Harbour. They set up home in Everton Road and were to have seven daughters and two sons.

Johnny's passion was football and from April 1907 he played for his local team, Yeovil Town Football Club. Johnny played for the club until 1927, usually positioned as centre forward and for many years captaining the team. His football career was interrupted by war service when he enlisted in the Machine Gun Corps during May 1916. His last match was on 7 May 1927 - and he scored seven goals!

Nevertheless, despite this wartime interruption in his football career, Johnny Hayward holds the record for being the highest goal scorer for a single club in the history of English football. During his career he achieved an extraordinary number of goals - at least 548 (some data on matches in those days was incomplete) and claims a record that will surely never be beaten. At his peak, he netted 52 goals in just 33 games during the 1919-20 season and 50 more in the 1921-22 season. The team photograph below shows Johnny (with the ball between his feet) as Captain of the Yeovil & Petters United F.C. (as Yeovil Town F.C. was briefly known) during the 1921-22 season.

Fred and Mabel's sons both played for Yeovil between 1950 and 1953; Ken played 55 games and scored 11 times, Cyril played 12 times, scoring two goals.

Fred 'Johnny' Hayward retired from football in 1927 and died in 1958, aged 71.




Courtesy of John Penny. This photograph features in my book "Secret Yeovil".

Fred 'Johnny' Hayward, photographed in his footballing heyday.


Courtesy of John Penny. This photograph features in my book "Secret Yeovil".

The Yeovil and Petters United team, season 1920-21. Captain Fred 'Johnny' Hayward is seated at centre with the ball between his feet.