We are deeply saddened by the passing of the former Welsh rugby captain and legendary commentator and broadcaster.

With great sadness, we send our deepest condolences to our friend and colleague, Jack Butler, for the loss of his father, Eddie.

In a tribute to Butler, Wales Online detailed how the former British & Irish Lion, Wales Rugby Union captain, and legendary broadcaster and commentator rose to prominence with Pontypool in the 1980s. During this time, Ray Prosser’s Pontypool side took the Welsh club scene by storm.

The No.8 played 16 times for the Welsh national team between 1980 - 1984, having captained the side during six of those matches and scoring two tries. He was also chosen for the Barbarians and called up for the British and Irish Lions squad that toured New Zealand in 1983.

Butler retired from international rugby in 1985 and three years later, embarked on what would go on to be an outstanding career in journalism. According to the BBC, the highly respected rugby broadcaster began his newspaper journalism career with the Sunday Correspondent, before writing a weekly column in the Rugby Union section of The Observer, and a stint at The Guardian. He also commentated for the BBC with former England hooker, Brian Moore.

The Welsh rugby legend was heralded as the ‘voice of rugby.’ Butler will be remembered for his mastery of the English language. In a recent Guardian article, BBC director general, Tim Davie, referred to Butler as “A wonderful wordsmith with a rich tone, iconic voice” who provided “the definitive soundtrack to some of the greatest moments in rugby’s history.”

Jack Butler and George North shaking hands
Image (L-R): Head of Partnerships at Seat Unique, Jack Butler with George North

The world of rugby is mourning the sudden loss of Butler, who had a huge influence on the game. Many sports stars have paid heartfelt tributes to the late rugby icon, including our brand ambassadors.  

Former Welsh Rugby Union and British & Irish Lions captain, Sam Warburton OBE, said: "I was in shock when I heard the news of Eddie's passing. He has become the voice of rugby and an icon in Wales with his sublime broadcasting skills, alongside a hugely successful rugby career which included being captain of the Wales national team.”

“It’s been an absolute privilege to play for my country under Eddie's voice, and to work alongside him as a broadcaster was a surreal moment and a career highlight in my new broadcasting venture. I must also add, he was a real pleasure to be around and one of the nicest men I have met through rugby. He will be sorely missed, and never forgotten.”

Ospreys, Welsh Rugby Union, and British & Irish Lions player, George North, said: “As a person, you would not find a nicer and more welcoming man than Eddie. He always had time for everyone. A super-intelligent wordsmith with a voice that made a nation stop and listen. He was always very kind and supportive to me and my career. A passionate Welsh man that gave everything for his country. A big family man that will truly be missed.”

The team at Seat Unique is incredibly saddened by the passing of one of rugby’s true greats. Our thoughts are with Jack and the Butler family at this difficult time.