The Johnny Haynes statue at Craven Cottage

A statue for George?



The Johnny Haynes statue at Craven Cottage

By Morgan Phillips

The statue of Johnny Haynes, adorning Fulham’s ground since 2008, has won almost universal praise. As I wrote at the time in h&f news:

‘Those who knew Johnny and those of us who saw him in action agree that the work of sculptor Douglas Jennings and artistic director William Mitchell is stamped with the image of the king.

‘The face is mature and serious, not the boy-genius of the mid-1950s. The arms akimbo recall Ken Coton’s iconic photo when things fall apart. On the playful cover of the fan magazine TOOFIF the statue is badmouthing Johnny’s former teammates Jimmy Hill and Trevor Chamberlain.

'Before assuming an angry Haynes, take a look at his right foot trapping the ball. Perhaps he is teasing his opponents. A short pass or a long? Down the middle or out to the wings? Their guess is as good as ours.'

It is splendid to hear that Douglas Jennings will immortalise another Fulham hero George Cohen MBE. The new statue will greet supporters entering by the Hammersmith End.

George typified the intelligent, reliable,  defender in the 1960s when football abandoned its traditional  2-3-5 formation. I vividly recall him dribbling from the penalty area to the other end of the pitch and letting fly. Regrettably the visiting keeper had enough sight of the ball to deflect it over the ball, depriving George of a wonder goal.

On the pitch this full back had a much more placid  demeanour than Haynes, and I hope the effigy retains his cheerful smile. Although injury ended his playing career in 1969 he is familiar to virtually every Fulham fan as a World Cup winner with England and as a marvellous ambassador for the club.

A minimum of £100,000 is needed by the 8th May 2016 to fund both the statue and two local programmes for dementia care. Tickets for a celebratory dinner have all sold but supporters and admirers  have many other chances to swell the funds, ranging from £10 for a special badge or wristband to £1000 to have a chosen name inscribed on the statue's plinth I have opted for a signed photo of Moussa scoring against QPR. It may seem slightly irrelevant but it combines the old Fulham with the new.

Full details of the fund are on the club's website, and it is worth mentioning that Chairman Shahid Kahn is matching every pound of the first £100,000. This is a lovely opportunity to honour one of our greatest players.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

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