MILWAUKEE -- On Sunday, July 19th, Milwaukee sports radio and its listeners lost a long-time friend. Steve Haywood, who was a fixture in the Milwaukee sports radio scene since the late 1990s passed away.
ESPN Wisconsin reports Haywood passed away on Sunday morning at St. Luke's Hospital in Milwaukee. He was 48 years old.
FOX6's Tom Pipines interviewed Haywood back in 2013. At that time, Haywood hadn't been on the radio in nearly a year because of a host of health problems.
“Cardiomyopathy, which is an enlargement of the heart. I have a pacemaker, diabetes, gastroparesis, kidney failure and then obviously I have an amputation of my left leg,” Haywood said.
Through it all, Haywood managed to keep his trademark sense of humor.
“I’ve still got all my teeth — so I’m pretty good!” Haywood said.
Haywood told FOX6 News: "If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.” But for Haywood, there were tears along the way.
“When I woke up and the first vision I saw was my son, standing over me, and I was still alive, I said to myself ‘well, either I’m too ornery to die, or you’ve got bigger plans for me.’ So whatever those bigger plans are, I can’t be selfish and worry about me. It’s how can I serve God?” Haywood said.
Haywood had many gifts, and one of his greatest was his ability to stare down adversity and keep a positive attitude.
Haywood’s ordeal changed him in some ways.
“The next time you walk by somebody in a wheelchair, you know, it takes a second to ask ‘are you okay?’ We tend to sometimes just walk right by them and not pay attention — but they are not forgotten people. They are people that you need to love and respect,” Haywood said.
He was the first to say he wouldn’t have made his almost miraculous comeback without his faith, his family and his friends.
“You can lose money, you can lose health, you can lose time, you can lose faith, you can lose courage — you can lose a lot of things — but two things that you can pass along if someone is willing to give them to you (and they’re true blessings) is unconditional love and knowledge,” Haywood said.
Steve Haywood was the host of “That Being Said,” on Milwaukee’s ESPN Radio.
After graduating from Milwaukee Tech High School in 1985, Haywood attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he graduated in 1991.
He has covered a number of major events, including the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2002 and the NBA All-Star Game in 2003.
CLICK HERE for more on Steve Haywood via ESPNWisconsin.com.