Family legacy continues for Hawthorn Football Club fan Ryan Hayward

Heads or tails: Ryan Hayward and his grandfather Ken Hayward practising to flip the coin at the Hawks game on Saturday. Picture: Paul Scambler
Heads or tails: Ryan Hayward and his grandfather Ken Hayward practising to flip the coin at the Hawks game on Saturday. Picture: Paul Scambler

Ryan Hayward and his dad Andrew went to every Hawthorn game in Launceston.

Now, it will be Ryan and his grandfather Ken.

Just a short time ago Andrew died, leaving 12-year-old Ryan, and his 9-year-old sister Chloe, with a legacy of going to every Hawthorn game, their seats high up in the Carlton Draught stand.

On Saturday Ryan will toss the coin at the start of the Hawthorn and Carlton match, with Ken beside him.

Ryan has been a Hawks member for seven years, while his dad was a member for 12.

His favourite part of the game is the scoring, the high-stakes goals.

Ken said after Andrew died, he promised Ryan that no matter what, he would take Ryan to every game in Andrew’s place.

“I’ll make sure he gets to come,” Ken said.

“[I’ve] retired now, so I can come to every game.

“I reckon I’ll take his hand.”

 Like his son Andrew and grandson Ryan, Ken said he was a long-time Hawks fan, while Ryan’s mum Naomi was converted from Carlton to the Hawks.

The family has seating in the Carlton Draught stand at UTAS Stadium, from where the family will watch Ryan toss the coin.

More than 2500 tickets have been pre-sold for the Hawthorn-Carlton clash.

Hawthorn Hawks chief executive Justin Reeves said the club was looking forward to returning to Launceston for the first time this year.

“The club is extremely excited to being playing under lights at UTAS Stadium in Launceston for our final JLT match against Carlton,” he said.

“This is a great opportunity for fans to see two Melbourne teams go head to head in their final dress rehearsal before Round 1, so we encourage all Tassie Hawks fans to get along to the game for what should be a great hit-out.”

Last year 9181 people turned out to watch the Hawks play Carlton for the NAB Challenge at UTAS Stadium.

On Sunday, the Hawks will also host a free family picnic day at UTAS Stadium, from 11am to 2pm, with opportunities to meet players, buy merchandise and have it signed.

Tickets for the match can be pre-purchased online through Ticketek, or purchased at the gate.

The match starts at 7.05pm on Saturday.