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Wales Online
Wales Online
Mathew Davies

Eddie Butler death: Legendary rugby commentator died while helping others

The death of Eddie Butler earlier this year rocked Wales and and the wider rugby community.

Butler, a former Wales captain, passed away in September at the age of 65, prompting a flurry of tributes for the legendary commentator. You can read more about those here.

Butler was taking part in a fundraising hike for Prostate Cymru, for whom he was an ambassador, in Peru alongside his daughter Nell when he passed away in his sleep.

READ MORE: Jiffy breaks down in brave and heartbreaking radio tribute to Eddie Butler

Confirming the sad news, the charity said in a statement: "The Prostate Cymru charity is devastated by the passing of its much loved ambassador Eddie Butler.

"Ed was the voice of Wales and we were honoured to have him as part of our charity. We will cherish the many memories we have of him.

"Over the last week, Ed once again showed his generosity and steadfast commitment to good causes by joining 25 Prostate Cymru fundraisers, including his daughter Nell, on the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu.

"In the early hours of Thursday 15 September, Ed passed away peacefully in his sleep at Ecoinka base camp in the Peruvian Andes. He leaves behind his wife Susan and six children who are very much in our thoughts.

"The charity will not be making any immediate further comment. We also ask that the family's privacy is respected during this difficult time."

He had been capped 16 times for his country.

The day after the news broke, Nigel Owens said on BBC Radio Wales: "He was a lovely, lovely man. When you worked with him he always made you feel at ease. He also had that ability of not shying away from asking the difficult questions.

"I really was so shocked and saddened when I read it. I didn't sleep well last night. There are other people out there who know Eddie better than I do and were closer to him but it really is a very sad day."

His friend Jonathan Davies also paid an emotional on-air tribute to his former colleague. "Absolutely devastating news," Davies told BBC Radio Wales. "On my charity bike ride, they pulled me over to tell me the bad news.

"Everyone is devastated, the whole gang as Eddie did a lot of work for different charities, especially Velindre. Everyone adored him.

"It was a very sombre day. We had a minute's silence and a toast to him last night. It's very upsetting.

"I've worked with Eddie for 25 years. Eddie was a presenter, a pundit, a genius broadcaster. He could turn his hand to everything. He was such a brilliant guy.

"He always had time for everybody. I just enjoyed working with him. It's very difficult to put into words how good he was and how devastated everyone is. I can't get my head around it.

"It was a joy to go into work. He was so eloquent. He had his own unique style. No one told him what to do or how to do it.

"He just had that Midas touch. He was a gentle, charming man. Very well educated, beautifully spoken.

"I just sat there sometimes, listening to him and forgetting I was the co-commentator as I was enjoying his words so much."

You can read our full obituary piece here...


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