|Birth name||Edward Thomas Butler|
|Date of birth||8 May 1957|
|Place of birth||Newport, Wales|
|Date of death||15 September 2022(aged 65)|
|Place of death||Cusco , Peru|
|Rugby union career|
Edward Thomas Butler (8 May 1957 – 15 September 2022) was a Welsh rugby union player, journalist and sports commentator. He won 16 caps for the Wales national team between 1980 and 1984 and scored two tries . He was also an outspoken supporter of Welsh independence .
Early life and rugby career [ edit ]
Butler was born on 8 May 1957.   He was educated at Monmouth School and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge , where he studied French and Spanish between 1976 and 1978. Butler played as a number eight and gained Cambridge Blues in 1976, 1977 and 1978, Butler played in 16 matches for the Welsh national side between 1980 and 1984 and captained the side in six of those matches.  
He captained Pontypool RFC side between 1982 and 1985, in succession to Jeff Squire . He was chosen for the Barbarians and the British Lions , touring with the latter in 1983.    Butler retired from international rugby in 1985. 
Journalist and broadcaster [ edit ]
Whilst continuing to play for Pontypool Butler became a teacher. He joined BBC Radio Wales as a press and publicity officer in 1984 and later worked for a property developer. Butler entered journalism in 1988, writing for the Sunday Correspondent . 
Butler wrote a weekly column in the Rugby Union section of The Observer Sport since 1991 and also wrote for The Guardian ,   as well as commentating for the BBC with Brian Moore , the former England hooker.  Butler had first commentated alongside veteran Bill McLaren and after McClaren's retirement Butler became the BBC's lead Rugby Union commentator. 
He received some attention when it became public knowledge that Austin Healey 's newspaper column had been written by Butler whilst Healey was on tour with the British and Irish Lions Rugby squad in Australia in 2001. 
Before commentating on a match, Butler prepared for several hours, absorbing as much information as he could, but taking few notes, and likened it to cramming for an examination.  He described writing a match report, often under time pressure, as telling a story which does not necessarily have to follow the timeline of the match so long as it is entertaining and complete. 
In 2008 Butler provided commentary for archery at the Beijing Olympics . 
Butler presented the history series: Wales and the History of the World (BBC1 Wales), Hidden Histories (BBC2),  Welsh Towns at War (BBC1) in 2014  and two series of Welsh Towns (BBC2 Wales) in 2015.  He was on the commentating team for the Invictus Games .  He also worked for the association football assignments, including a special interview with Eric Cantona for FA Cup Final edition of Grandstand in 1994. 
Writing, charity work and politics [ edit ]
Butler published several novels, including two based on rugby.   He was also an ambassador for Prostate Cymru, a Welsh organisation to raise prostate cancer awareness. 
Butler was a supporter of Welsh independence     and spoke at a pro independence march in Merthyr Tydfil organised by YesCymru and AUOB Cymru on 7 September 2019.  
Personal life and death [ edit ]
Butler was married to Susan at the time of his death and had six children. 
Butler actively joined fundraising efforts for both Prostate Cymru and the Velindre Cancer Centre . On 15 September 2022, whilst taking part with 25 other Prostate Cymru charity walkers, including his daughter Nell, on the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu , Peru , Butler died peacefully in his sleep at Ecoinka base camp near Cusco in the Andes mountains. He was 65.    
Books [ edit ]
- Butler, E. The Greatest Welsh XV Ever . Gomer Press . 2011. ISBN 978-1848514089 . (Non-fiction) 
- Butler, E. The Head of Gonzo Davies . Gomer Press. 2014. ISBN 978-1848518735 . (Fiction) 
- Butler, E. Gonzo Davies Caught in Possession . Gomer Press. 2015. ISBN 978-1785620324 . (Fiction, sequel) 
- Butler, E. The Asparagus Thieves . Gomer Press. 2017. ISBN 978-1-78562-222-9 . (Fiction)  
References [ edit ]
- ^ a b c d e "Eddie Butler, Wales rugby union international who went on to succeed Bill McLaren as the BBC's 'voice of rugby' " . The Telegraph . 16 September 2022 . Retrieved 17 September 2022 .
- ^ "Eddie Butler" . espnscrum.com . Retrieved 30 November 2012 .
- ^ Ian Metcalfe to join RFU Council , RFU.com, accessed 23 February 2012 Archived 13 September 2012 at archive.today
- ^ a b c d Southcombe, Matthew (15 September 2022). "Former Wales captain and much-loved rugby commentator Eddie Butler has died" . WalesOnline . Retrieved 16 September 2022 .
- ^ Eddie Butler , Bloomsbury.com, accessed 23 February 2012
- ^ a b c "Eddie Butler" . Sporting Heroes . Retrieved 25 February 2012 .
- ^ a b "Eddie Butler: Former Wales rugby captain and legendary broadcaster dies aged 65" . BBC Sport. 15 September 2022 . Retrieved 15 September 2022 .
- ^ "The Guardian: Eddie Butler" . TheGuardian.com . Retrieved 13 March 2016 .
- ^ "Eddie Butler" . journalisted.com . Retrieved 27 February 2011 .
- ^ "Preparation is personal but paramount" . BBC . Retrieved 13 March 2016 .
- ^ "Writing a match report" . BBC . Retrieved 13 March 2016 .
- ^ Smith, Giles (11 August 2008). "Eddie Butler becomes the voice of archery" . The Times . ISSN 0140-0460 . Retrieved 29 May 2021 .
- ^ "Daily Post North Wales: "Eddie Butler swaps rugby for history" " . Dailypost.co.uk. Archived from the original on 29 September 2012 . Retrieved 10 October 2012 .
- ^ a b " 'My new life as a novelist': Eddie Butler on the First World War and the world of rugby fiction" . Wales Online. 23 August 2014 . Retrieved 13 March 2016 .
- ^ "BBC Programmes" . Retrieved 14 March 2016 .
- ^ "BBC reveals coverage plans for Invictus Games" . Retrieved 13 November 2018 .
- ^ Lynch, David (11 November 2018). "Eddie Butler visits Prostate Cymru fundraising champ" . Western Telegraph . Retrieved 13 November 2018 .
- ^ "Eddie Butler: Wales has been abandoned by Westminster" . Nation.Cymru . 11 February 2022 . Retrieved 1 September 2022 .
- ^ Thomas, Simon (21 September 2021). "Eddie Butler is worried about Wales and says independence is the only way" . WalesOnline . Retrieved 1 September 2022 .
- ^ "Eddie Butler says Wales 'lacks confidence' to take responsibility for governing itself" . The National Wales . Retrieved 1 September 2022 .
- ^ "Full Eddie Butler Speech – AUOB Merthyr" . YesCymru EN . Retrieved 1 September 2022 .
- ^ " 'It's better to be free and poor than be a servant and poor' " . BBC News . 12 September 2019 . Retrieved 2 February 2021 .
- ^ "Eddie Butler Speaking at March For Independence Merthyr Tydfil 2019" . YesCymru Youtube channel . Retrieved 27 September 2019 .
- ^ a b "Eddie Butler death: Latest tributes as rugby world devastated" . Wales Online. 15 September 2022 . Retrieved 15 September 2022 .
- ^ "Former Wales captain and commentator Eddie Butler dies aged 65" . The Irish Times . 15 September 2022.
- ^ "Greatest Welsh XV Ever, The" . Waterstones . Retrieved 16 September 2022 .
- ^ "Head of Gonzo Davies, The" . Waterstones . Retrieved 16 September 2022 .
- ^ "Gonzo Davies Caught in Possession" . Waterstones . Retrieved 16 September 2022 .
- ^ Butler, Eddie (October 2017). The Asparagus Thieves . Gomer Press. ISBN 978-1-78562-222-9 . Retrieved 17 September 2022 .
- 1957 births
- 2022 deaths
- Alumni of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
- BBC sports presenters and reporters
- British & Irish Lions rugby union players from Wales
- Cambridge University R.U.F.C. players
- People educated at Monmouth School
- Pontypool RFC players
- Rugby union number eights
- Rugby union players from Newport, Wales
- Wales international rugby union players
- Wales rugby union captains
- Welsh rugby union commentators
- Welsh rugby union players
- Welsh sports broadcasters