Broadcaster and former Wales rugby captain Eddie Butler dies aged 65

Former Wales Rugby Union captain and legendary sports broadcaster Eddie Butler has died at the age of 65.

Former Wales Rugby Union captain and legendary sports broadcaster Eddie Butler has died at the age of 65.

The popular commentator rose to prominence with Pontypool in the 1970s, representing Wales between 1980 and 1984.

Charity Prostate Cymru, of which Mr Butler was an ambassador, said he died during the early hours of Thursday, September 15, "peacefully in his sleep" in the Peruvian Andes.

Mr Butler had been on the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu to raise money for the charity at the time.

Prostate Cymru said it was "devastated" by the news of his death and asked that the family's privacy be respected at "this difficult time."

  • Former Wales scrum-half Andy Moore pays tribute to Eddie Butler

Leading tributes, the Welsh Rugby Union posted a statement on Facebook, saying: "We are devastated to hear of Eddie's passing and everyone in Welsh rugby sends their sincerest condolences to Eddie's family and loved ones.

"Welsh Rugby Union chairman Rob Butcher has led the tributes to the former Wales international.

Tributes have been flooding in from across Wales. Credit: PA Images

"Butler won 16 caps for Wales and was an ever-present in Welsh rugby upon his retirement, moving into match commentary and a variety of media work as well as working closely with the WRU.

“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.

“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.

“Our thoughts and prayers go to his family, who we also know well and cherish, and his close friends and colleagues at this incredibly difficult time.

"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.”

World Rugby said on Twitter: "We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of broadcasting great, Eddie Butler."Capped 16 times by Wales - including six times as captain - Butler would later go on to provide the commentary to some of the greatest moments in the game "May he Rest In Peace."

Former Wales international player and captain Sam Warburton paid tribute to Eddie on Twitter. He said: "Stunned at the news and passing of Eddie Butler. Thoughts with his family. What an amazing contribution to rugby and broadcasting.

"A privilege to have played and co-commentated with his voice. RIP Eddie."

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: "Extremely sad to hear of Eddie's passing. "Eddie was an incredible player and a supremely talented broadcaster."Wales will miss him terribly."