Championship: Former Wolves Chairman Sir Jack Hayward dies aged 91
Championship side Wolves have announced that Sir Jack Hayward OBE, the Club’s former owner, Chairman and Life President has passed away aged 91.
In a glowing tribute to their former owner, the club released a statement which read: "Wolves would like to extend its deepest and most sincere condolences to Sir Jack’s wife, Lady Hayward, his companion of many years, Patti Bloom, and all his family and friends at home and across the world."
Born close to Molineux, Sir Jack Hayward was a Wolves fan from an early age.
"The Bahamas-based multi-millionaire and renowned philanthropist gave huge backing to many good causes over the years. During Sir Jack’s 17-year ownership of Wolves, his vision and financial backing transformed a decaying Molineux into one of the first, and finest, all-seater stadiums in the Country." the statement continued.
"He gave successive managers money to spend on players, before in May 2003, his dream was realised as Wolves at last regained top-flight status, though it proved to be for only one season."
Current Chairman Steve Morgan, who took over from Hayward said of him: “Wolves are a family and we’re united in mourning at the loss of one of the Club’s, and the City’s, most cherished sons. Our most sincere condolences go out to Sir Jack’s loved ones at this very sad and difficult time."
“Sir Jack always said to me that he was a custodian of the Club during his ownership, he was merely looking after Wolves for the supporters."
“That philosophy shone through during his 17-year ownership of Wolves. Rather than trying to recoup some of his own huge outlay, he handed over Wolves in such a way that it secured even more investment into the Club."
“That kind of philanthropy didn’t only extend to Wolves, of course. The purchase of Lundy Island for the National Trust and his huge donation to help re-build a Hospital after the Falklands War, were just some examples of where he made a real and long lasting difference to causes close to his heart."
“A few months ago Sir Jack visited the Wolves Museum and was shown his own tribute in the Hall of Fame. When asked to sign the visitors’ book, his message was simple: ‘Glad to have helped."
“That was the measure of the most generous, humble and special gentleman you could ever wish to meet. And the reality is we may never see his like again."
“On behalf of everyone connected to Wolverhampton Wanderers: thank you, Sir Jack. You’ll never be forgotten.”
Jez Moxey, Wolves’ Chief Executive, said: “We’re devastated at the loss of Sir Jack and, on behalf of everyone connected to the Club, our hearts go out to Patti and his family.
“Sir Jack was more than just my boss for a period of time, in the same way he was so much more than simply a Chairman to our legions of loyal supporters.
“Over the years he became a great friend and mentor, not only to me and my family but to many, many people associated with the Club and the City.
“He was one of this country’s great, eccentric characters, philanthropists and football supporters who combined huge commercial vision in his business interests with the desire to put something back into his community and to make a real difference to the causes he loved.
“Wolves was obviously one of his greatest passions and he still retained the same love for the Club – the same glint in his eye – that he had as a youngster climbing underneath Molineux’s turnstiles, despite the inevitable ups and downs associated with running a football club.
“He was a truly special man and retained to the end enormous optimism, conviction and enthusiasm for Wolves always tuning in live to watch or listen to the matches regardless of where he was in the world or what time of day or night it was.
“We’re all united in mourning but at the same time it’s a moment to celebrate his life and achievements, a life painted in bright colours, which made a huge difference to so many people at home and abroad.
“It’s a time to reflect on everything Sir Jack did for Wolves and for the tremendous and unique legacy he has left behind for the Club and the City of Wolverhampton.
“Over the coming days the Club, and the City of Wolverhampton, will come together in various ways to fully recognise and celebrate his achievements – the ‘Old Boy’ will be greatly missed.”