Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Cyril Hayward by Dave Collen

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 12:00

Further to Mick's excellent tribute to Cyril, Dave Collen adds the following thoughts and memories of his own own.

Cyril was raised in modest circumstances, in a tunnel back house in Roma Road, Tyseley. Roma road was walking distance from Yardley Grammar School, which he attended, and Cyril's house backed on to the railway sheds at Tyseley, now the site of the rail museum. Tunnel back houses had no bathrooms, in those days, but Cyril told, with great glee, how his father installed a bath in one of the upstairs rooms, and knocked a hole in the outside wall, for the bath waste to discharge on to the outhouse roof. Ingenuity - 10, Building Regulation compliance  - nil !

After school Cyril did an engineering apprenticeship with Lucas industries, and progressed to a position in the Research department. He and I became work colleagues at Hall Green Technical College, where he lectured in engineering studies and I in building studies. Cyril progressed in further education, eventually being appointed as vice principal at East Birmingham College. 

During his time at Hall Green Tech, Cyril was responsible for the production of 'In Touch', OY's regular newsletter (no e-mail in those days). On one occasion Cyril's head of Department discovered his secretary typing and binding the newsletters, things got worse when he discovered that the costs of production and postage, had been billed to his departmental budget. Cyril, with his disarming style, talked his way out of it, blaming a break down in communication, insisting he intended to pay the costs, all along !


Cyril's playing career with OYs was remarkable in that it spanned three decades of 1st XV rugby. A feat which few attained, and which will probably never be repeated. Cyril joined OYs in the 1950s, played throughout the 1960s and played his last 1st XV game on 29th April 1970.

Cyril played mostly full back or scrum half. At full back he was sound under the high ball and kicked well off both feet, and as noted earlier kicked a lot of goals. At scrum half he was nippy and alert, always with an eye for a break off the scrum. Remarkably, as I can testify from my time as Club Captain, he rarely trained. He was small and wiry with a surprising turn of speed (over 20 yards) but never shirked the dirty chores, wherever he played.

On 7th December 1968, against Old Moseleians, he scored all OY's points in an 8-0 victory, with a try (then 3 points), conversion and penalty goal. In the last quarter we tried everything to tee him up for a drop goal, to complete the set, but sadly couldn't manage it.

Cyril's work on various committees and his part in the development of colts rugby, culminated when he was elected Club Chairman. His time in office was notable for his attention to detail, and support for all committee work. Speaking at one club dinner Cyril referred to the late club president W A Jenkins, only to be reminded, by the said WAJ, that he was very much alive, sitting next to him, and was in fact the former club president!


As stated earlier Cyril was highly regarded amongst the wider rugby community and used those contacts to good effect, during his time as fixture secretary. There were no leagues in those days, and OY's fixture list had taken a hammering during the last seasons at Windermere Road. Cyril was able to call in a few favours and restore many of the plum fixtures to the list.

Cyril was a rough diamond, never short of an opinion, but passionate about Old Yardleians, a club he served with dedication and distinction. My thoughts are with Pat and family, at this sad time.

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