Newport born Eddie Butler was a hard working Number Eight who earned sixteen caps for Wales between 1980 and 1984, captaining his country on six occasions. The Cambridge graduate was perhaps unfortunate that his international career began at a point when Wales period of glory was drawing to a close. This was illustrated in Eddie's debut season of 1980 when Wales were narrowly edged out by England in what was deemed a "Championship Decider" at Twickenham. Later in the year Eddie came on as a replacement in the Centenary Test against New Zealand. The game ended in a spectacular 23-3 defeat which confirmed that Wales were no longer the same force in world terms. After that match, Eddie disappeared from the international scene until 1982 when he played one match against Scotland.
As captain of the side he played in all of Wales' Five Nations matches in 1983 and was also called in as a replacement for the British Lions squad to New Zealand, though did not play a test. In 1984 he enjoyed his first and only win against England, a 24-15 victory at Twickenham, but Wales were denied the Triple Crown by Scotland. His last international appearance came later that year in a 28-9 defeat by Australia when Eddie and his fellow forwards were shoved over their own goalline for a pushover try. In retirement Butler became a respected commentator and journalist, famed for his incisive remarks and deep lyrical brogue. One of the few Welsh successes Eddie was able to commentate on was the remarkable triumph over England in 1999 at Wembley. At the death he memorably implored to Scott Gibbs: "Don't do that Scott!" following the centre's triumphant try scoring wave. He also earned notoriety for ghost writing Austin Healey's newspaper column during the 2001 Lions tour of Australia. (Jon Collins).
Eddie, upon retiring from the game, became a professional journalist with The Guardian, Observer and worked for the BBC.
Eddie Butler pictured playing for Wales on 15th. March 1980. Photo G. Herringshaw ©
Career Record: P16, W6, D1, L9
Test Points: 8
| 1980 v France (Cardiff) W 18-9 (FN)
1980 v England (Twickenham) L 9-8 (FN)
1980 v Scotland (Cardiff) W 17-6 (FN)
1980 v Ireland (Dublin) L 21-7 (FN)
1980 v New Zealand (Cardiff) L 23-3
1982 v Scotland (Cardiff) L 34-18 (FN)
1983 v England (Cardiff) D 13-13 (FN)
1983 v Scotland (Murrayfield) W 19-15 (FN)
1983 v Ireland (Cardiff) W 23-9 (FN)
1983 v France (Paris) L 16-9 (FN)
1983 v Romania (Bucharest) L 24-6
|1984 v Scotland (Cardiff) L 15-9 (FN)
1984 v Ireland (Dublin) W 18-9 (FN)
1984 v France (Cardiff) L 21-16 (FN)
1984 v England (Twickenham) W 24-15 (FN)
1984 v Australia (Cardiff) L 28-9