With the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard departing the Premier League in recent years for a final challenge in The MLS, football is seemingly running thin of loyalty. Which leads me to today's question of topic, Does loyalty remain in football?
Multi Million Pound contracts see players come and go for their personal gain, Not always for the love of the game or the team they represent.
Fans adore their players that don the jersey of their beloved teams, But what turns a cult hero into a club legend?
Loyalty to the club, Which leaves a legacy at the club years after they depart.
Over the years Fulham have had many fan favourites and cult heroes.
But one player stood head and shoulders above the rest, A player that will forever live on at Fulham Football Club.
John Norman Haynes commonly known just as Johnny Haynes, Spent 18 years at Fulham before seeking his own last hoorah with short spells at Durban City and Wealdstone, where he spent a year at each respectively.
In his 18 years at the club, Haynes made 594 appearances scoring a record 146 goals, from the Inside Forward position. The Inside Forward would be closest to the modern day Central Attacking Midfielder role.
Haynes possessed evident quality, Making 32 of his 56 appearances for the English national side whilst playing in second division at Fulham. The most by any player playing outside the top division.
Once quoted by Brazilian legend Pelé, as "The best passer of the ball I have ever seen"
Haynes was also the first player to be paid £100 a week, after the abolishment of the £20 maximum wage in 1961. In attempt to fend off advances from AC Milan.
In 2002 Haynes was appointed to the English Football Hall of fame, In recognition of his football talents and impact on the English game.
Haynes tragically passed away at the age of 71. On the 17th October 2005, Haynes’s 71st birthday. Haynes was driving his car in Scotland, When he suffered a brain hemorrhage leading his car to veer into oncoming traffic. Luckily an onlooking doctor was at hand and rushed to his aid. Managing to restart his heart and transport him to a hospital in Edinburgh. Haynes was placed on life support machine over night, the machine was later turned off the following evening on the 18th October 2005.
The Fulham Supporters Trust paid tribute to the club legend by with the following statement "His dedication, skill, professionalism, grace and charm - both in his playing days and in retirement, serve as a poignant reminder to many of today's footballers about what true greatness really means."
The club also paid homage to their former player by reinstating the Stevenage Road Stand to the currently known Johnny Haynes Stand.
On the 18th October 2008 a lasting tribute was made to the late Johnny Haynes, as the club unveiled a statue in his honour. The statue situates outside the stand in his name.
Johnny Haynes is undoubtedly the greatest player the club has ever seen. With the situation of the game and the current market, Will Fulham ever see anyone as prominent and charismatic as Haynes amongst their ranks?