Horninglow, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire born inside forward Adam Haywood played local football for Burton Ivanhoe from 1893 and joined Swadlincote Town in 1895, before he turned professional with Second Division Woolwich Arsenal in January 1896. He made his Football League debut against Leicester Fosse on 25th January 1896 and was an ever-present for the rest of the 1895-96 season. He continued to play as a mainstay in the Arsenal side over the following three seasons, scoring regularly, his best being 1898-99, when he scored 12 goals in 23 League games. In total he played 91 times for Arsenal, scoring 36 goals, but Arsenal’s financial situation meant they were forced to accept a £50 bid from Glossop North End in May 1899.
Haywood spent just three months at Glossop without appearing for the Hillmen’s first eleven before joining Southern League Queen’s Park Rangers in August 1899, becoming part of an experienced squad of ex-League players at Rangers, including four ex-Arsenal colleagues. While at QPR, Haywood was part of the Rangers side who beat Wolverhampton Wanderers in a replay in an FA Cup tie in January 1900. Wolves were so impressed by Haywood’s display over the two games that, within a year, via a short stay at New Brompton (now Gillingham) later in 1900, he was signed by the First Division club, going on to score 28 goals in 113 appearances over the next four seasons.
May 1905 saw him transfer to neighbours West Bromwich Albion, where he was the club’s top scorer during the 1905-06 campaign, finding the net 22 times. He remained at Albion for two and a half years, scoring West Brom’s goal in their 2-1 1907 FA Cup semi final defeat to Everton at Burnden Park, Bolton, before signing for Blackpool in November 1907 after 27 goals in 67 appearances for The Baggies.
He made his debut for Blackpool at inside right in a defeat at Derby County on 30th November 1907. He scored once in 16 appearances for The Seasiders before he joined Crystal Palace as player-coach in May 1908, finally retiring from playing football in 1909 after scoring twice in 9 appearances, finally leaving the club in 1912.