Butler sadly passed away in September 2022
Eddie Butler’s voice is synonymous with the Six Nations but it will sadly be missing this year after the iconic broadcaster died in 2022.
Butler could rouse emotion in his previews to matches and narrate rugby as if it were poetry. But the commentary legend had a playing career before he turned his attention to the mic which was equally as impressive.
He played for Pontypool for 14 years and captained the side from 1982 to 1985.
Internationally, Butler won 16 caps for Wales and captained his country six times. He also played for the Barbarians and toured with the British and Irish Lions in 1983. Butler retired from playing in 1985.
His journalism and broadcasting career began in 1988 when he started writing for the Sunday Correspondent. He also began writing for The Guardian and The Observer in 1991.
Read more: Who are the BBC’s Six Nations pundits?
He started his work as a pundit for the BBC next to legendary rugby commentator Bill McLaren. When McLaren retired in 2002 the BBC promoted Butler to lead rugby union commentator and his was a voice an entire generation linked with rugby.
Butler and pundit Brian Moore formed an iconic partnership for the Six Nations. The pair produced some of the most famous rugby commentary. Moore has said his standout moment with Butler was when he reacted to England’s Toby Flood kicking away a ball in the 2008 Six Nations.
Moore shouts ‘for god’s sake’ as Flood kicks against Italy, causing Butler to have a chuckle to himself.
Butler’s final piece of commentary came with a voiceover to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s death shortly before he died last year.
Butler passed away in his sleep in Peru while on a Prostate Cymru charity walk. He was at Ecoinka base camp near Cusco in the Andes on the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu.
Tributes poured in for the legend when the news broke of his death in September and they have continued in the lead up to the 2023 Six Nations.
Broadcaster Sonja McLaughlan told the BBC: “I am devastated that he is no longer with us. He was supremely talented, passionate about family, friends and Wales, his beloved Wales and Rugby Union.
“I miss him terribly and it is a huge loss to his family, friends and Wales.”
Former Wales player Jonathan Davies said at Butler’s memorial: “It still hasn’t really hit home but on Saturday it will, walking into that stadium and he won’t be there.”
And Butler’s son Jack, who had a baby shortly after his dad died and called him Edward Arlo, told Wales Online: “Dad gave everyone nicknames. My brother-in-law is Richard, but he called him Richo. My partner, Olivia, was Livo.
“Everyone had an ‘o’. So when we were looking at names and saw Arlo, we thought that was perfect. Even though it’s his full name, it’s a bit of a nickname too and that’s a nod to dad.”
Eddie Butler, the voice of the Six Nations
Eddie Butler had countless pieces of commentary that will be forever iconic. Here are a few of his best lines:
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