TRIBUTES have been paid to the first male matron in Britain.

‘Loving family man’ Henry ‘Bud’ Hayward died last Tuesday at the age of 89.

The ‘dedicated nurse’ is survived by his wife Norma Hayward, their three children, seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Norma said: “Everyone in Blackburn knew him and loved him.

“He was a loving family man and was dedicated to his work.

“We had a wonderful life.”

Daughter Janita said he created a positive and fun family environment.

She said: “He was the centre of the family.

“He created a positive and fun environment and a strong family bond which is at the core of our family today.”

Mr Hayward was born on March 25, 1928, in West Ham, London, but was evacuated to Somerset at the age of 13 during the Second World War where he joined the Home Guard.

He went on to join the Army Medical Corps before training to become a nurse at Whipps Cross Hospital in London, where he met his future wife Norma.

The two were married in 1956 and moved to Blackburn in 1958, where Norma worked as a theatre assistant at Blackburn Royal Hospital and Mr Hayward made history when he was made matron, the first male in Britain, at Langho Colony, a hospital for epileptics.

Janita said Bud was loved and respected by both staff and patients at the colony.

She said: “During his time there, he modernised the Victorian-style institution.

“He introduced a training programme and improved living quarters, creating a modern facility which became a centre of excellence and was copied throughout the UK.

“He was loved and respected by staff and patients and received a gold medal for achievements.”