He loved Medina Marching Band so much he turned down an invitation to a Queen's Garden Party because he could not take all his Isle of Wight bandmates.

Now the band is mourning the loss of Kevin Hayward, bandmaster and chairman, who has died at the age of 64.

In a tribute on the band's Facebook page, fellow member Kevin Downer wrote: "He was the boss, our leader, the backbone of the band, the one that drove everything on to achieve all that it had done in the 25 years he has been chairman."

Scroll down to see video of Medina Marching Band members playing a lament for the Queen at Carisbrooke Castle.


Isle of Wight County Press: Kevin Hayward with Medina Marching Band.Kevin Hayward with Medina Marching Band. (Image: Medina Marching Band)

He had been diagnosed with lymphoma cancer in the brain in 2019 but lived well beyond the year he was given.

Kevin Downer said: "He fought like only Kevin knows how and never gave in, hanging on in there right up until the end well beyond the 12 months that he was predicted to live soon after his treatment ended."

Kevin Hayward was the son of Frank and Heather Hayward and brother to Shane.

Married to Jane, with three children, Joanne, Nicola and Tara, Kevin Hayward was born in Carisbrooke and attended Carisbrooke High School.

He started work at Plaish Farm before going on to work for Southern Electric for 30 years, latterly as a manager.

Isle of Wight County Press: Kevin Hayward at work.Kevin Hayward at work. (Image: Medina Marching Band)

Prior to being involved with Medina Marching Band, Kevin was chairman of the Isle of Wight Tug-of-War Club.

He never had any musical training but became involved with the band through his daughter Nicola's involvement, and being a neighbour of band founder, the late George Urry.

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He played the drum in the band up until around seven years ago.

Mr Downer said in his tribute: "Kevin always put band at the top of his priority list.

"He sacrificed so much of his personal and family time to make sure the band always progressed and stayed strong.

Isle of Wight County Press: Kevin HAyward and fellow Medina Marching Band member Derek Cooper.Kevin HAyward and fellow Medina Marching Band member Derek Cooper. (Image: Medina Marching Band)

"Even evenings and weekends when band wasn’t on there was alway something to do and wanting to make sure it was done right or how he wanted."

Mr Downer told the Isle of Wight County Press: "One night Kevin came up to band after having been working in an electric supply box during the day,  he had electrocuted himself and his face looked burnt to a crisp, as if he had been on a week's holiday to Spain and still made it up to band rehearsal." 

As well as the band he was a keen gardener and vegetable grower.

The funeral has been arranged for March 10, at 3pm, at the Isle of Wight Crematorium.