Jack Hayward

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For other uses, see Jack Hayward (academic).
For other people named John Hayward, see John Hayward (disambiguation).
Sir Jack Hayward OBE
Born Jack Arnold Hayward
14 June 1923 (1923-06-14) (age 91)
Wolverhampton, England
Residence The Bahamas
Nationality British
Known for Owner of Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. (1990–2007)
Predecessor Gallagher Estates
Successor Steve Morgan OBE

Sir Jack Arnold Hayward, OBE (born 14 June 1923) is an English businessman, property developer, philanthropist and president of English football club Wolverhampton Wanderers.


Stowe School

Hayward was born in Wolverhampton. He was educated at Northaw Preparatory School and Stowe School in Buckingham. In 1941, during the Second World War, he joined the Royal Air Force, receiving flight training in Clewiston, Florida. He served first as a Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force 671 Squadron S.E. Asia Command in India and in 1946 was demobilised as a Flight Lieutenant.

His father, Sir Charles Hayward CBE, began the family involvement with the Bahamas in the 1950s, after relocating his business from the United States. Jack arrived in Grand Bahama in 1956 and became a Vice-President of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, which helped promote the development of Freeport. Jack took over his father's interests in the Bahamas, and continues to play an active role in Freeport, where the Sir Jack Hayward High School is named after him.[1]

The Sunday Times Rich List placed him as 125th richest in Britain with an estimated £160million fortune in 2009.

Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.[edit]

Hayward became the owner and chairman of his boyhood football club Wolverhampton Wanderers after buying the club in May 1990 for £2.1million. It is estimated that he spent well in excess of £70m of his personal finance on redeveloping their Molineux Stadium, writing off annual debts, and purchasing players for the club during the 17 years for which he was owner.

Hayward's 17-year ownership had been relatively successful, but on taking the club over he had hoped to re-establish them as one of England's leading sides. His reign saw seven different managers employ his resources in attempts to make the club a top flight side. In the event, they only managed one season at the highest level (2003–04), despite his riches having enabled Wolves to invest in many players who would normally have been far beyond the financial reach of non-Premier League clubs.

In May 2007 it was announced that he had sold control of the club to businessman Steve Morgan OBE for a nominal £10 fee, in exchange for a conditional £30m of investment in the club. Hayward had originally offered the club for sale in September 2003, but had struggled to find suitable takers. Morgan's takeover was formally completed on 9 August 2007.

By the time he retired as chairman at Molineux, Hayward was recognised as one of a select group of football benefactors who has spent huge fortunes of time and money on rescuing their hometown boyhood club from obscurity. Other such benefactors include Jack Walker (Blackburn Rovers), Lionel Pickering (Derby County), Steve Gibson (Middlesbrough) and Dave Whelan (Wigan Athletic).

The club's training complex at Compton is titled 'The Sir Jack Hayward' training ground. He also has a street, Jack Hayward Way beside Molineux (previously Molineux Way), that was renamed in commemoration of his 80th birthday in 2003. Hayward remains the life president of Wolverhampton Wanderers and is a member of the club's Hall of Fame.


Hayward was knighted in 1986 – adding to his 1968 OBE award – for his charitable actions, having previously donated money to buy Lundy Island (for the National Trust), the SS Great Britain and, more recently, £500,000 to the Vulcan to the Sky fund.[2] He also put funds into repairing the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on the Falkland Islands after the Falklands War.

He financed tours of the West Indies by the England women's cricket team in 1969–70 and 1970–71, and in 1973 sponsored the first ever women's cricket World Cup (two years before the first World Cup in the men's game).[3]


Hayward married Jean Mary Forder in 1948 and has two sons, Rick and Jonathan, and a daughter Susan. Both his sons have also been involved with Wolves. Jonathan joined the board upon his father's takeover in 1990 and later served as chairman, before resigning in 1997. In 1999 his father controversially sued him for £237,000, claiming he was responsible for financial irregularities. The matter was settled out of court in favour of the elder Hayward. His elder son Rick later became chairman of the club in 2003 during the Premier League, taking over from his father, but stepped down in 2006. His grandson Rupert joined the board in the reshuffle following Steve Morgan's takeover but resigned a year later.

As of 11 January 2011, Hayward is in a court battle for over £100 million of his own personal fortune, after being sued by his daughter Susan Heath, 62, elder son Rick, 59, and six of his grandchildren after they had been removed as beneficiaries from trusts set up by him. The fallout between Hayward and his family started over the £10 sale of Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. to Steve Morgan.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sir Jack Hayward High School website". Jackhaywardhighschool.org. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "England | Leicestershire | Club's owner was 'mystery' donor". BBC News. 2 September 2006. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "When the women set the agenda". Content-usa.cricinfo.com. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Peter Rhodes (16 November 2010). "Wolves saviour Sir Jack Hayward at war with family " Express & Star". Expressandstar.com. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Sir Jack Hayward: I’ve been demonised « Express & Star". Expressandstar.com. 10 January 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011.