Connect PR love football and we love our home in Wolverhampton.
So it came to us as sad news upon hearing of the death of former Wolverhampton Wanderers owner Sir Jack Hayward.
Sir Jack, a multi-millionaire from Whitmore Reans in Wolverhampton, lived the football fan’s dream of buying and running his boyhood football club.
When Sir Jack purchased Wolves in 1990 the club was on its knees and playing in a decaying football stadium.
It was a metaphor for the city of Wolverhampton that had been hit hard by the slow death of the manufacturing industry that it had heavily relied on.
But Sir Jack, a proud and true Wulfrunian with a sparkle in his eye, saw Wolves in a different way that someone without Wolverhampton pulling at his heartstring would have.
He saw an opportunity to raise the club out of darkness and into light by injecting millions upon millions of pounds into Wolves in a bid to get them back among England’s elite.
From the rusty and condemned terraces of Molineux came a golden palace in 1993 which was one the most impressive all-seater stadiums in the UK at the time.
Ten years later he was to see his dream become reality as Wolves were promoted to the Premier League following a 3-0 victory over Sheffield United in the play-off final. Despite being 3-0 up and minutes away from the promised land of the Premier League it wasn’t until Sir Jack appeared on the big screen at the Millennium Stadium and gave two thumbs that Wolves fans felt it was real.
But Sir Jack’s investment didn’t just lift the club but an entire city. Wolverhampton Wanderers is the heart beat of Wolverhampton and when Wolves are down the city is down and a sorry football team carries the weight of a sorry population.
What Sir Jack did is restore pride in Wolves and in doing so restore pride in the city. For all the pleas for a foreign owner to sweep in and bankroll a team to win silverware Sir Jack, picked his team, which played for his people and with them he bestowed his dreams.
It gave Wolves hope, it gave a city hope and for that reason he will go down as one of Wolverhampton’s greatest ever sons.
Sir Jack’s significance to the region was also marked by our client, Sedgley-based sight loss charity Beacon, who added their tribute: “Beacon Centre for the Blind were deeply saddened to hear of Sir Jack Hayward’s passing. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this time.
“He was our Patron, and he and his family have long been supporters of the work we do for visually impaired people across the Black Country and Staffordshire. We are very grateful for that support.
“Sir Jack made some wonderful contributions to this area and we are proud to have been associated with him, and for the facilities and services we provide to be part of his legacy.”
Sir Jack Arnold Hayward, OBE, 1923-2015
Author: Adam Thompson, account executive at Connect PR