Rugby greats in shock as they hail ‘legend’ Eddie Butler following his death

·1-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Tributes have poured in following the death of Eddie Butler, the iconic broadcaster and former Wales captain.

Butler, 65, was a legend at No8 for Pontypool and won 16 caps for Wales before moving into the media, where his commentary became legendary. He also wrote for the Observer.

He passed away in his sleep in Peru, where he was on a fundraising trek for the charity Prostate Cymru. The news came as a shock, and tributes have been paid from within the game and beyond.

Bill Beaumont, the England legend and World Rugby chair, tweeted: “Eddie Butler was a true commentary great — the recognisable voice of the sport to millions and unrivalled in his storytelling behind the mic. Captain of Wales and a superb player, he was also a true gentleman.

 (PA)
(PA)

“I am deeply shocked. My thoughts are with his family and BBC colleagues.”

Brian Moore, with whom Butler shared the commentary box on many occasions, said he was “devastated”.

“Ed, I’m sorry I never told you how much I admired you as a broadcaster and as a man,” he tweeted. “Well, it wasn’t like that between us, was it? Condolences to Sue and your family. Sport has lost an iconic voice, I have lost a very dear friend.”

Sam Warburton, another former Wales captain, joined the tributes, saying: “Stunned at the news. Thoughts with his family. What an amazing contribution to rugby and broadcasting. A privilege to have played and co-commentated with him.”