Vincent Hayes was born in 1879. He joined Newton Heath (later Manchester United) in 1900. A full-back who occasionally played in the forward line, Hayes played 115 games for the club over the next ten years. He also won a winners medal when Manchester United beat Bristol City, 1-0, in the 1909 FA Cup Final.
In 1910 he signed for Bradford Park Avenue. Over the next year he turned out 29 games for his new club. Hayes also played for Rochdale.
After retiring from playing, Hayes coached abroad. In 1919 Hayes was appointed manager of Preston North End. Soon after taking up his appointment, he signed Tommy Roberts from Leicester Fosse and Rowland Woodhouse from Lancaster Town. Over the next two years Hayes brought in the much travelled Archie Rawlings and the English international winger, Alf Quantrill. Woodhouse, Rawlings and Quantrill provided the service for Roberts who was the club's top scorer for the next five seasons: 1919-20 (29), 1920-21 (25), 1921-22 (25), 1922-23 (29) and 1923-24 (26).
Vincent Hayes also tried to improve the quality of Preston's defence. Joseph McCall, despite his advancing age, was still playing at centre-half. Hayes purchased full-back George Speak from West Ham United and wing-half George Waddell from Bradford City. Local youngster Billy Mercer was also drafted into the side.
Preston North End did very well in the FA Cup in 1921. The club defeated Newcastle United (3-1), Barnsley (3-0) and Arsenal (2-1). Archie Rawlings scored the first goal in the semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur and created the chance for Tommy Roberts to score the winning goal.
Preston played Huddersfield Town in the final. The team lost to the only goal of the game, a penalty conceded by Tommy Hamilton. It was awarded when Hamilton tripped Huddersfield's outside-left Billy Smith. Hamilton admitted the offence but claimed it was outside the penalty area.
Despite the goals from Tommy Roberts, Preston continued to struggle in the league. The club finished 19th (1919-20), 16th (1920-21), 16th (1921-22), 16th (1922-23) and 18th (1923-24). At the end of the season, Hayes was replaced by Jim Lawrence.