Wolverhampton Wanderers life president Sir Jack Hayward celebrated his 90th birthday last June. Despite being thousands of miles away at his home in the Bahamas he still raised a glass to the team he has supported all his life.
He was born a quarter of a mile away from Molineux in Dunstall Road, Whitmore Reans and he will be following the fortunes of his beloved Wolves anxiously as they battle to get out of League One.
Sir Jack bought Wolves in 1990 for £2.1 million. He sold the club to Steve Morgan for £10 in 2007, on condition that he invest £30 million in the club.
It’s a promise that Steve Morgan has more than kept, with the improvements he is making to Molineux and its immediate surroundings, but some of Sir Jack’s family were less than happy with his decision, along with his decision to remove them from trusts he had set up.
Not for the first time, this sparked off an ongoing family feud. Sir Jack contested that since he put his children into the trusts he could also take them out.
In November 2010 Sir Jack sold his 50 per cent stake in the Grand Bahama Port Authority – of which he is honorary chairman – for an undisclosed sum, believed to be around £80 million
This added to Sir Jack’s fortune, which includes homes in London and New York and a shooting estate in the Highlands, as well as his Bahamas mansion.
Sir Jack first arrived in Grand Bahama in 1956. He took over his father’s interests and took a major interest in the development of Freeport.
He used £26 million in proceeds from the sale of the family business to develop Freeport.
The Sir Jack Hayward High School which opened in 1998 is named after him, while his wife organises an annual exchange with pupils from Boys Harbour School in New York.
Jack Hayward was born in 1923, the only child of Sir Charles and Hilda Hayward, a leading industrialist. Sir Jack served in the RAF during the war, training as a pilot and flying missions over India and Burma. He spent his 90th birthday at an RAF-themed party at the Sir Charles Hayward Yacht Club, named after his father.
Knighted in 1986, Sir Jack has always been fiercely patriotic and is often known as “Union Jack” Hayward. There is even a function room named after him at the Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen.
He has been a prolific giver to charity, helping the National Trust buy Lundy Island and the SS Great Britain, and paying for repairs to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on the Falklands after the Falklands War.
He was also a donor to the Battle of Britain London Monument on The Embankment.