‘Voice of Welsh rugby’ Butler dies aged 65

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Former Wales rugby captain and television commentator Eddie Butler died at the age of 65 while on a charity walk for prostate cancer in Peru, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) said on Thursday.

A number eight who played 16 times for Wales and also represented the British & Irish Lions, Butler moved into broadcasting following his retirement and even did commentary for the BBC at the Six Nations earlier this year.

WRU said Butler died in his sleep on the trek in Peru where he was raising funds for health charity Prostate Cymru.

“For many Eddie was the voice of Welsh rugby and he will be sorely missed by supporters around the globe as well as his friends throughout the game and here at the WRU,” Welsh Rugby Union chair Rob Butcher said in a statement.

“He proudly represented his country as a player, was a mainstay in press boxes around the world long after he retired from the game and has been prolific in the way in which he has served Welsh rugby in both the written and spoken word over decades.

“He was a unique individual and the game in Wales owes him a debt of gratitude for his contributions both on and off the pitch.”

Commentator Andrew Cotter, who worked with Butler, said he was “still in shock” after hearing the news of his colleague’s death.

“He was a Welsh poet and one of the great orators of Welsh broadcasting,” he said. “He was also very bright, had a sharp mind and wrote beautifully.”

Butler wrote five books, which included three detective novels. He had also previously climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for a cancer hospital in Cardiff.

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