Johnny Haynes on partying with Jimmy Greaves, and where his first £100 pay packet went.
ENGLAND THEN AND NOW: Johnny Haynes is still regarded with Glenn Hoddle as the best passer this country has ever seen.
He made history in the early 1960s when the maximum wage was abolished and Fulham made him the first £100-a-week player. He won 56 England caps and has recently celebrated his 70th birthday in his new home in Edinburgh.
Then: You were only 31 when England won the World Cup. Why weren't you in the team?
I had a bad car crash in 1962 and damaged my cruciate ligament.
It kept me out for a year and though I resumed with Fulham, I was never fit enough to play for England again.
Sir Alf Ramsey regularly asked George Cohen (Fulham and England) about my progress but George said I probably wasn’t ready for the step up to international football.
Sir Alf never picked me and he was quite right. I wasn’t the same player after the accident.
Now: Which modern player is most like you?
I am quite fond of Paul Scholes, I think he is a very good player and got a bit of style about him. Where we were similar is that he is always looking for the ball, passing and receiving all over the field and trying different things. It is a pity he is finished with international football.
Then: How did you spend your historic £100-a-week?
It didn’t change my life all that much, I put a few pounds in the bank.
Having said that, I think I got a car soon afterwards!
It was an S-type Jaguar and I think I paid £3,000 for a brand new one. Apart from that, I didn’t go throwing my money around.
Now: Are modern players paid too much?
In one sense, I am all for players getting as much as they can. But I suppose if you take a step back, it has all gone over the top particularly since the Sky television money came in.
I would hate to think what would happen if that money was ever taken away. Players from my generation couldn’t stop working after they retired from football. We had to work at something else but there is nothing wrong with that.
Then: How did you celebrate beating Scotland 9-3 in 1961?
It was an incredible scoreline because it had actually been a very close game for an hour. We were leading 3-2 but as soon as the fourth goal went in, everything we hit ended up in the back of the net.
Players from teams like Manchester United and West Brom had to leave Wembley straight away to catch their trains but a few of the London lads gathered to have a bit of a party.
Bobby Smith and Jimmy Greaves of Spurs came out with me, it was quite a big night!
Now: Do fans still recognise you when you go to Craven Cottage?
Those supporters of a certain vintage! I think the younger ones have heard of me but they might not know too much about me.
I didn’t go to Loftus Road when the club moved last season and I haven’t been back down since they moved back, but I am planning to go again this season.
Then: Why did you leave the country after finishing with Fulham?
I wanted to carry on playing after I retired with Fulham in 1970 and a few of the ex-Fulham lads like Budgie Byrne and Bobby Keats were playing in South Africa with Durban City.
I went off to join them and ended up living there for 15 years until 1985. While I was playing, I had a share in a bookmakers called Tom Benfield and in 1976 we sold our shops to the Tote which helped set me up financially.
Now: How did you end up living in Scotland?
I’d always had friends in Edinburgh while I was playing for Fulham and there was a lady involved called Avril.
When I left South Africa, I moved there and Avril and I got married. She runs a dry cleaners shop in the city and I am very happy living in Scotland.
I just had my 70th birthday and it was great to see old friends like Sir Bobby Robson (former Fulham and England team-mate) come up.