Martin Hayes was never a particularly favourite at Arsenal, except that there were a few of us who saw exactly what he could do for the team. And indeed for one season our top scorer, and the player who kept the team in a reasonable position in the league.
That season was 1986/7, George Graham’s first season in which Hayes started 31 league games and scored 19, mostly by coming in from the wing.
He was never allowed to play that many games again by Graham and was eventually transferred to Celtic in 1990. He continued to play until he was in his mid-30s, with his longest sting being 61 games across two seasons with Swansea City. From 1995 onwards he played in the lower leagues, including 58 games for Collier Row and then 69 for Romford, before hanging up his boots in 2001.
However by then he had started to try his hand at management, his longest spell being 1999 to 2008 with Bishop’s Stortford. He appears to have stopped managing in 2011, apart from a one season comeback with Waltham Abbey 2015/16. But also in 2015 he became an area sales manager for Close Brothers Motor Finance and has remained in that job ever since, along with doing an occasional piece of co-commentary for Arsenal TV.
Here are the anniversaries…
21 March 1891: Bob Buchanan won his one and only Scottish cap in a game against Wales. He joined Arsenal for the 1894/5 season and went on to play 25 games before moving on to Southampton.
21 March 1896: For the second year running Arsenal beat Crewe 7-0. It was also the second 7-0 of the season but only 4000 turned up for the game. The result left Arsenal in sixth, and despite these wins, still having scored 44 goals fewer than top of the table Liverpool.
21 March 1896: Woolwich Arsenal’s first international player – Caesar Jenkyns played for Wales as they beat Scotland 4-0.
21 March 1903: Thomas Shanks became the first Arsenal player to be capped for Ireland. He played three times for his country while with the club.
21 March 1903: First and only cap for Archie Gray. He joined Arsenal in 1904 and played for the club 184 times before leaving in 1912 to join Fulham.
21 March 1904: Final game for Frederick Coles. He moved on to Grimsby Town in June 1904. Later he became a cricket and football coach in Gothenburg, Sweden. He was also trainer of Hague in Holland between 1910 and 1911.
21 March 1906: Everton 0 Arsenal 1. Last of five consecutive wins and part of nine wins in 10 to games secured the club’s 1st division survival, taking Arsenal up to 16th out of 20 clubs, six points clear of a relegation spot.
21 March 1909: Peter Dougall born in Falkirk. After a varied career he was offered a trial at Arsenal on 27 September 1933 signing as a professional on 23 October
21 March 1913: Man U 2 Arsenal 0. Start of an eight match run without a win which relegated the club for the first and only time. After 31 games Arsenal still only had 15 points – as did the other relegation candidate, Notts County.
21 March 1918: Germany launched the Spring Offensive (also known as the Kaiser’s Battle), along the Western Front. And it looked at first like it was a success, because it resulted in the deepest advances by either side since 1914. But it had a flaw…
21 March 1931: Arsenal 2 Sheffield Wednesday 0. Jimmy Brain’s final league appearance (although he played on the summer tour of Scandinavia). He played 204 league games and scored 125 games. Jack and Bastin got the goals, 47,872 in the crowd.
21 March 1936: Arsenal 1 Grimsby 0. FA Cup semi final. Bastin scored the goal in front of 63,210 fans at Huddersfield’s ground. It was Bastin’s sixth goal in the cup this season, making him the top cup scorer, although with only 11 in the league he was way behind Ted Drake.
21 March 1964: John Radford made his Arsenal debut away at West Ham United. It ended 1-1. Alan Skirton scored the Arsenal goal.
21 March 1966: Martin Hayes born in Walthamstow. He joined Arsenal as an amateur in 1981 and made his first team debut in 1985 becoming Arsenal’s top scorer by a long way, in 1987.
21 March 1970: Southampton 0 Arsenal 2. This was the last of three consecutive wins after 10 without a win. Sammels and George got the goals which lifted Arsenal to 11th in the league.
21 March 1978: Birmingham 1 Arsenal 1. Arsenal made it six games without defeat, while challenging in league and cup. Arsenal were now fourth, but the League challenge however was never enough to topple Nottingham Forest who were six points ahead.
21 March 1979: Arsenal 2 Southampton 0. FA Cup 6 replay, with both goals coming from Alan Sunderland (who also scored in the semi-final and final). Both Stapleton and Sunderland ended the cup run with six goals.
21 March 1981: Debut of Peter Nicholas in a 1-1 draw with Norwich. It was the start of a nine match unbeaten run to the end of the season within which Arsenal won seven. Talbot scored the goal.
21 March 2009: Almunia saved a penalty for the third time in the season. Newcastle 1 Arsenal 3. The result was part of a 21 match unbeaten run, with Bendtner, Diaby and Nasri scoring.
21 March 2015: Newcastle 1 Arsenal 2 made it six straight league wins for Arsenal, with Giroud having scored seven goals in his last six games. The result left Arsenal in third, four points behind Chelsea who had drawn three of their last six.