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I miss him terribly – colleagues pay tribute to Eddie Butler at memorial service

02 Feb 2023 2 minute read
Eddie Butler giving the inaugural Gwyn Alf Williams Memorial Lecture for YesCymru Merthyr Tydfil.

Former Wales captain, broadcaster and commentator Eddie Butler’s memorial service in Abergavenny on Wednesday was attended by hundreds of guests.

Family and friends were joined by sports broadcasters and former players to celebrate the life of Butler, who died in his sleep last September during a charity trek in Peru.

Television presenter Clare Balding hosted the memorial at Abergavenny Market in Monmouthshire.

Fellow sports broadcaster Sonja McLaughlan, who worked alongside Butler as part of the BBC’s Six Nations coverage, told BBC Wales: “I am devastated that he is no longer with us.

“He was supremely talented, passionate about family, friends and Wales – his beloved Wales – and rugby union.

“I miss him terribly and it is a huge loss to his family, friends and Wales.”


Former England centre and now pundit Jeremy Guscott said: “He was a guy you could go to to talk about things you couldn’t with other people.

“And also his voice. He had an unique way of describing the game.”

Co-commentator and former Wales centre Tom Shanklin added: “I remember growing up listening to his commentary and then having the joy and excitement of being able to commentate with him.

“He was one of the best there was. His voice is going to be massively missed in this year’s Six Nations.”

Butler, who played for Pontypool and Cambridge University, made 16 appearances for Wales, six of them as captain, before retiring from international rugby in 1985, aged 27.

He was also a member of the British and Irish Lions squad that toured New Zealand in 1983.

Butler worked as a teacher after retiring and joined Radio Wales in 1984. He also worked as a newspaper journalist with the Sunday Correspondent, the Observer and the Guardian before returning to the BBC in 1990.

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