Sgt. Slaughter remembers his friend, Lord Alfred Hayes
The sports-entertainment world lost a true great when Lord Alfred Hayes passed away at the age of 76. But to many within WWE, the passing of "His Lordship" meant so much more than loss of a television personality. Those who knew Alfred feel as though they have lost a friend and family member.
WWE.com recently spoke with one of Lord Alfred Hayes' closest friends, Sgt. Slaughter, about his life and times:
WWE.com: Walk us through the past couple of days for you?
Sgt. Slaughter: I received a call Wednesday telling me that Alfred was being moved to another facility because he had taken a turn for the worse. Then Thursday morning, I got another call saying that Alfred had passed away late last night in his sleep.
WWE.com: What did Alfred Hayes mean to you as a friend?
Sgt. Slaughter: Alfred meant everything to me as a friend because he was everything you wanted in a friend. I loved him very much and he will always have a very special place in my heart, my mind and my soul. He was a wonderful father and grandfather that loved and adored his children and grandchildren. Over the years, I watched how wonderful he was to his family, friends, fans and just people in general. I like to think that some of that rubbed off on me.
He was the perfect Englishman. He spoke Queen's English and never spoke a bad word in his life. Sometimes we would be golfing and he would miss a short putt. Rather than swearing, which he never did, he would pick up the ball and say ‘you're a beast. You're supposed to go into the hole.' He was a very proud man that never asked for anything. I know that Alfred fought courageously to the end, denying any help, so that when he left this world, he'd have his head held high when he entered his new world. He was just that kind of a guy, very gracious and noble.
WWE.com: What do you think Alfred Hayes meant to the business of professional wrestling?
Sgt. Slaughter: Alfred was one of the pioneers of wrestling that pushed us into the entertainment part of the business. Alfred was so far advanced. While he was working at the WWE TV studio, he was always helping the producers edit the shows. He'd edit for hours and hours. He showed the people at the studio how to add the entertainment value. And it made the wrestlers feel proud to have Alfred spend so much time on their matches. I'm sure the people that are still at the studio that worked with Alfred thank him everyday for teaching them that part of the business.
WWE.com: Many of the people that Alfred worked with in WWE feel like they lost a member of their family. Do you feel the same way?
Sgt. Slaughter: Absolutely. It's one of those things where you lose somebody very precious and dear to you. But you're happy in a way, as well, because Alfred suffered so much. Unfortunately, I saw him suffer close up for many years with his arthritis. We lived together for about two years in Stamford, CT. He was in terrible pain for all the years that I knew him. It was torture having to watch him get up in the morning. He was in so much pain that he couldn't even get up and go from his bedroom to his bathroom. Sometimes, I would have to leave -- I would go get a coffee or something.
So I was very saddened when I got the news, but there was a smile on my heart because I knew that he was no longer in pain. Alfred was with me when I went through the same thing with my mother. She was battling cancer, and Alfred told me that she would eventually be relieved of all her pain. He then told me that I would smile again, and I did. The same thing happened with Alfred. I'm just really happy that he is no longer suffering, even though I am going to miss him greatly.
WWE.com: If you had one thing you could say to Alfred, what would it be?
Sgt. Slaughter: I was truly blessed when our paths crossed on that cold and stormy night in Winnipeg, Canada, 27 years ago. I thank God everyday for allowing me to have the gift of sharing time with you. You were truly a great and wonderful friend. You may have left us, Alfred, but I have a smile on my heart knowing that you no longer have to suffer. Thanks for everything, my friend, God bless you.