|Alfie is the
youngest of the Hales, one of the three great soccer families in
Waterford, the others being the Coads and the Fitzgeralds.
Alfie's father (also Alfie) and his uncles, Tom and John,
comprised a very good half-back line for the "Blues"
in the 1930's and Alfie snr. went on to play with Shamrock
Rovers in the League of Ireland. On a tour of America with
Rovers Alfie snr. signed for the famous River Plate club in
Buenos Aires. Young Alfie's brothers Georgie (R.I.P.),
Dixie and Harry all played for Ireland in various grades and
were great favourites with the Waterford club all through their
long careers, but Alfie was the star of the family. The
Hales originated in the Southampton area of England and were a
military family. Alfie's great-grandfather was a British
soldier serving in St. Thomas Mount in India where Alfie's
grandfather, George, was born. George also joined the Army and
it was he who came to Waterford in the early 1900's.
|The Hales lived in
Ard-na-Greine, that nursery of sporting excellence in the city and Alfie
joined St.Joseph's soccer club where he played his under-age football.
He began playing for Waterford at age sixteen and in little over a year
he was a regular on the senior team and had gained an amateur
international cap. In 1960 he signed professional forms with Aston Villa
F.C. with whom he played in the English First Division. He also played
with Doncaster Rovers before returning to Waterford in 1967 and began
what turned out to be one of the most successful careers in League of
Ireland history. Over the following decade he won, with Waterford FC,
every honour in the domestic game except a cup-winners medal. He won six
League medals and three F.A.I. Cup runners-up medals, Munster Cup
medals, Shield medals and Top Four medals. During that time he gained
fourteen international caps with Ireland and, in 1972/73, his greatest
honour - the Football Personality of the Year Award.
When his playing career was over, Alfie
moved into football management and in 1982 he was appointed manager of
the new Waterford United club. In 1984/85 the club won the League Cup
and in 1986 reached the Cup final and qualified for European
competition. He managed the Kilkenny club for a number of years when his
tenure with Waterford came to an end. In 1994 he received the Merit
Award of the Professional Footballer's Association and in 1997 he won
the Soccer Writers of Ireland Award for his forty years service to Irish
soccer. Alfie is a successful businessman in his native city.
International appearances (14);
1962, v.Austria, Iceland; 1964, v.Spain (2); 1966, v.Spain; 1968,
v.Poland (2), Austria, Denmark; 1969, v.Czechoslovakia, Spain; 1970,
v.Poland; 1971, v.Austria; 1973, v.Poland.