It is with a heavy heart we report the passing of one of the great St George clubmen in Bill Hayes, aged 92. Alongside his equally ‘cricket mad’ wife, Bev, Bill was head of one of the finest and most well known cricketing families within the St George District.
Bill himself was a very useful cricketer playing as high as 2nd Grade as a keeper for the Paddington club but it was his passion for coaching that really stood the test of time. He started coaching cricket in his 20s (before he had kids of his own) and finally had to ‘retire hurt’ with a fractured knee after being hit during a practice session, at the age of 90. One could say he was happiest when nurturing and mentoring young cricketers, both male and female, and this was outlined best with his own three children Matthew, Warwick and Kimberley who have all represented their district with very high distinction. Warwick himself the all time highest runscorer for the club with 16,866 runs. Bill even coached Bev when she and Kimberley played in one of the early female cricket competitions in Sydney.
There are generations of cricketers that have gone onto higher honors who would look back and be grateful for the wisdom and honesty that came by way of Bill’s words of encouragement (and at times forthright observations!). One of his coaching highlights was being a part of the St George DCC Green Shield coaching, set up alongside Brian Booth and Trevor Trotman.
Bill started making himself available to assist St George cricketers at junior level whilst playing in the park for Scarborough Social in the 1950-60s which included helping out at the local Council’s Cricket Week during the school holidays.He became a Life Member of the St George CA in 1975.
He coached sides for Kogarah Boys whilst playing in their mens teams alongside his Matthew and Warwick. He managed St George CA Rep teams. One of the successful Rep teams included a very young Murray Bennett who would go on to play for Australia. When some of his grandchildren started playing cricket he became part of the coaching staff at South Hurstville Carss Park Royals.
On top of all this he coached, managed and mentored female cricketers from all over Sydney and was an integral part of the St George womens club. Their contribution recognised by the St George Sutherland Slayers Womens Club.
Bill in fact played a day of cricket for St George at the age of 52 playing Fifth Grade alongside his 14 year old son at the time, Warwick, and keeping for a number of overs before leg cramps got the better of him. Day two was apparently rained out which Bill was secretly pleased about. As recent as the 2017-18 season Bill and Bev were a major source of support for Warwick’s 5th Grade side. Bev through her scoring and Bill through his “Vice Captaincy” from the boundary. This was what they loved doing and they volunteered their services season after season.
Back in 2016, Bill enjoyed a surprise 90th Birthday. There was only one location fitting enough for such an event and that was the Booth Saunders pavilion at Hurstville Oval. The place where Bill had witnessed the success of so many of the cricketers that he had coached and mentored. He was a Saints man through and through and his presence around the club will be very sorely missed.
In his younger years in the off seasons, Bill kept himself fit playing baseball, rugby league and refereeing league, rugby union and soccer at various different stages of his life. He was a true allrounder.
We pass our condolences to the Hayes family.
Vale Bill Hayes.
The Funeral for Bill Hayes will take place at the South Chapel, Woronora at 12.00pm on Thursday the 11th of April.
Memories, Anecdotes and Tributes from those that loved Bill
One of my memories of Bill at St George Grade Club was him umpiring for just the first over of I think either a GS or PG grand final I played in at Waverley (official ump running late) . Greg Pullen got the opener plumb LBW and my bloody father gave him not out. It ended up costing us a Shield - Bill should have been thrown out of the club and I would have gladly seconded the motion at the time.
Matthew Hayes (Son & St George 1st Grade Player No.273)
A sad day for local cricket. Bill was my u10 Foster Shield Manager in 68/69. His love for the game was incredible and could only be surpassed by his passion for fair play. This was passed on to his children and to all those to whom he mentored. Thanks for the great advice and support over the past 50 or so years and to the use of your driveway at Kogarah Oval games! Love to Bev, Matt, Waz and Kim.
Greg Matchett (St George Life Member and 1st Grade Player No.261)
One of my favourite people to have a chat to about the game we all love so much. Always had something positive to say whenever you were struggling and out of form. Then sure enough, he’d keep an eye on the scores and be one of the first to congratulate you when things picked up again.
Andrew Pandelis (St George DCC Club Captain)
Rest easy Mr Hayes. Many great memories of the whole Hayes family and their influence on myself and many young cricketers of my era. Vei Lomani
David Nui (St George Cricketer and Rugby League Player representing USA as well)
RIP. A very sad day. A true gentleman and champion bloke. Will not see the likes of him again. Irreplaceable. Hearts to the family and in particular his beloved Bev.
Morris Iemma (Former NSW Premier)
What a true cricket supporter. Always had time for a chat. I remember him walking the boundaries during many a Junior Representative game. My condolences to Bev and the family. RIP.
Jeffrey Evans (St George DCC Treasurer, 1st Grade score and former St George JCA Committee member)
I knew my son was safe and good with Bill Hays the moment l set eyes on the man ! Good and safe as a cricketer l mean for a 6 year old playing at his club Kogarah Boys. There was none better. RIP Bill Hayes and our deepest condolences to Bev Matt..Warwick & Kimberley. What a beautiful human being !
Harry Solomons (St George DCC Life Member & Former Kogarah Boys 1st Grade team member)
RIP Mr Hayes, Mr Hayes was my first Coach in that Kogarah Boys u10s team. He had a enormous impact on my life and cricket career and will never be forgotten ,also the selfless time he gave to a group of 9year olds who loved the game and more importantly respected him with everything he said and offered. Thoughts are with the Hayes Family
Jeff Cook (Former St George DCC 1st Grade Captain and English 1st Class cricketer)
I’m greatly saddened to hear of Bill’s passing. When I think of Bill I think of St George Junior cricket. He has an amazing record of involvement with coaching and mentoring junior players in our district. My first involvement with Bill was when he coached one of the early St George Rep teams I was in. One of my fondest memories in the day Bill & I put on a record partnership at the time of 250 at Scarborough Pk playing for Kogarah Boys in the men’s comp. I was about 15 and Bill would have been about 45. I think Bev was concerned with the amount I made Bill run between the wickets. In recent years Bill’s interest in the game never waned. Whenever we met he would always ask me an interesting question about spin bowling. Congratulations on a wonderful life in cricket.
Murray Bennett (Former Australian, NSW & St George Cricketer)