Hilaire, Vince

  • Home
  • /
  • Hilaire, Vince

Vince Hilaire

Vince Hilaire

Clubs played for: Crystal Palace, San Jose Earthquakes (loan), Luton Town, Portsmouth, Leeds United, Stoke City (loan), Stoke City, Exeter City (1977-1992)

Born: 1959

Birthplace: Forest Hill, London

Position: Midfielder

Biography: One of the first black players to establish himself in the League. Former England Under 21 international Hilaire was given his chance as a 17 year old by Crystal Palace and was a member of their 'Team of the Eighties'. Popular with the fans because of his lightening pace and tight ball control, he was named the London club's Player of the Year in 1979 and 1980. He moved to Pompey for £100,000 in November 1984 after playing a handful of games for Luton Town. Was then an integral part of the promotion winning side in 1987. The following year he was transferred to Leeds United in a £190,000 deal but his career then wound down at Stoke City with former boss Alan Ball and finally, in the west country with Exeter City. Became player and joint manager of Waterlooville with former Palace and Pompey team-mate Billy Gilbert. Has worked for a cable television company in Portsmouth and helped with match-day hospitality at Fratton Park. His daughter Danielle was a Soccerette on Soccer AM.

Back to previous page


Do you have any interesting, happy, or humorous memories of Vince?
If so, please let us know and we will be happy to share them with the world!

Hilaire, Vince Vince was our next door neighbour and just to say hello pal and hoping all good and family all well. Cheers Tony
15-12-22 Tony Caunter

Hilaire, Vince I worked for a car dealership in Southsea and the company sponsored Havant & Waterlooville. Went to watch a Charlton v Leeds Cup replay with him at the Valley (1991?). Watching a match with an ex-pro was an education. Also remember seeing him play for Palace in my teens and thinking "what balance".
21-07-22 Richard Pettit

Hilaire, Vince Great player. Came across so well on the BT programme about the 1979 team.

Hilaire, Vince Met Vince when he played for Leeds. He use to chill out at a bar in Leeds the Conservatory.I was a big Leeds fan and he was always approachable and spent hours chatting about Football and his career. A true gentleman and a cracking player.
13-02-21 Tony Timlin

Hilaire, Vince I was in the same primary school as Vince ..at St Anthony’s catholic school FOREST GATE east London ...where I thought he was from ?...he was two years above me and even in those days we all called him PELE..it was odd that he didn’t go on to st bonavenures with the rest of us , but there is a funny story about that which he could verify.
27-09-20 Gerry Grennan

Hilaire, Vince I used to go to Fratton park to watch Portsmouth play I ended up working in the press box so got to know the players very well. Vince always stood out as a gentleman. I took my young daughter with me one day and Vince was so caring towards her. Shame we don’t hear about the good guys in football anymore. I wish him well in all he does.
09-08-20 Karen

Hilaire, Vince I remember Vinnie from around 2000 working in New Covent Garden Market loading and driving a lorry down to Portsmouth every day.

Hilaire, Vince Vince and I were good mates back in the mid 70s as we played cricket together for Old Esthameians on Sundays and afterwards sometimes went for meals together with other team mates. I have a few stories about him but one that comes to mind was when he borrowed my bat at the start of his innings and when on about 60 suddenly mishit a ball, threw my bat in the air and said ' this bat is hopeless ! ' I was out their taking my turn at umpiring at the time And pointed out that it seemed to have served him well up until then. He went on to play with another and completed his ton !

Hilaire, Vince I played cricket with Vince for London Borough of Newham. He was the funniest guy in the dressing rooms. Joked about everything and everybody, life of our young Newham team. Great cricketer.

Hilaire, Vince no doubt the Messi of the Palace team, I watched Vince when I was a young boy and thought he was the most gifted player at Selhurst

Hilaire, Vince Just watched an old episode of 'the big match revisited' palice v notts county 1979. what a player Vince was! So much abillity. A real pleasure to watch.

Add Your Comments