One of the greatest players ever to pull on a Prestatyn Town shirt has left the club and joined Holywell Town.
Defender David Hayes, 38, signed for the Wellmen today with the aim of boosting their surge towards the Welsh National League Premier Division title.
Hayes is Prestatyn’s all-time highest appearance maker in the WPL with 212 starts and six as substitute, netting 12 goals. He played for the Seasiders in every one of their eight seasons in the top-flight.
Town manager Neil Gibson explained the popular defender has moved on in the hope of getting more regular first-team football.
Gibson said: “On behalf of all the staff and players at the club I’d like to wish Hayesie all the very best with the next part of his career. It will certainly feel strange not seeing him in that Town No 4 shirt but we certainly have to appreciate his decision and allow him to do what’s best for himself at this stage of his career.
“There has been so many fantastic memories and experiences down the years that spring to mind when you think of Hayesie playing for PTFC, far too many to name them all.
“As recently as last season he was still making momentous contributions, the winning goal at Airbus and Holywell, that free kick against Porthmadog at home to name a few.
“However the biggest point of that roller-coaster journey has to be seeing him lift the Welsh Cup (2012-13) and sharing the moment on the pitch in Latvia after our win in Europe alongside a small group of us with Parks (Michael Parker), Dunty (Jonathan Hill-Dunt) and Jacko (Jack Lewis) who had been there with us from the start.
“Quite a 3 months, lifting the Welsh Cup, a win in Europe and beating Rhyl in the NWCFA Challenge Cup final. Something I’m sure we only imagined when setting out in tier 3 many years earlier.
“Thanks for all your dedication, hard work, leadership and efforts for me as manager and our club and our fantastic supporters.”
A lionheart defender, excellent on the ball, a fierce competitor, awesome in the air and always a threat in the opposition box. What Hayes has given to the Seasiders will never be forgotten.
The story really began back in 2005/06 when Hayes skippered Prestatyn to their ground-breaking Welsh Alliance title triumph in a season which saw the Seasiders emerge undefeated throughout the entire league campaign.
After a highly-promising debut season in the Cymru Alliance, Town were crowned champions in 2007/08 to clinch a dream promotion to the top-flight Welsh Premier League.
Prestatyn stayed in the WPL for eight seasons in total, twice in that time clinching a top-six spot.
In 2012/13, Hayes was a proud member of the first-ever Town side to lift the Welsh Cup in the club’s 103-year history, beating Bangor City 3-1 in the final at Wrexham.
Summer 2013 saw the Seasiders play in Europe for the first time and claim a famous Europa League victory on penalties over Liepajas Metalurgs of Latvia before going out to Croatia’s HNK Rijeka in the next round.
An unforgettable few weeks was completed by Prestatyn lifting the NWCFA Challenge Cup for the first time.
In an amazing game against Rhyl which ended 5-5 after extra time, Hayes scoring with a stunning 30-yarder, Town won on penalties. And fittingly it was Hayes who put away the winning kick.
That brought an end to the magic carpet ride for a little while, with Prestatyn being relegated back to the Huws Gray Alliance at the end of 2014/15.
Hayes helped Town win the HGA again in 2016/17, but at the end of 2017-18, after the club was relegated from the WPL for a second time, he announced his retirement.
However, the lure to help the Seasiders reach the top again with a young squad proved too great and he reversed his decision a few months later, playing for the club again in the Cymru Alliance in 2018/19 and he signed up again for the current season.