- Rugby great John “Chow” Hayes has died aged 84.
- Played for Western Suburbs, also coached the Magpies
- Became North Sydney coach, well respected in the game
The rugby league world is in mourning following the death of John “Chow” Hayes just days before the NRL Grand Final.
Hayes came to the attention of the western suburbs in the NSWRL competition after his first grade debut in 1961, and went on to feature in three decisive matches against St George.
He was a tough striker who could play as a prop, hooker or second row.
Hayes also represented NSW in 1961.
“John was well respected and regarded and made a lifelong contribution to the game he loved at every level,” NSWRL President Bob Millward said.
The rugby league world is in mourning following the death of John “Chow” Hayes (pictured right) just days before the 2023 NRL Grand Final.
Hayes (circled in red, left) played for Western Suburbs in the NSWRL competition after his first grade debut in 1961, and soon appeared in three grand finals against St George.
Such was his position in the game, Hayes was inducted as a life member of NSWRL, Western Suburbs and North Sydney.
“Chow has carved out a successful career in coding and will be greatly missed.”
Hayes was born in Marrickville, in Sydney’s inner west, and left school at 14 to pursue football and work in hype.
He went on to play 160 matches for the Magpies before retiring in 1970 where he turned to coaching.
He was in charge of the Magpies reserves team from 1971 to 1973, taking them to the semi-finals in his first year, before becoming coach of the North Sydney Bears in 1983 and 1984.
Such was his standing in the game that Hayes was inducted as a life member of NSWRL, Western Suburbs and North Sydney.
Hayes also later became Chief Inspector of the New South Wales Police.