Former professional rugby player and longtime announcer for the World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Eddie Butler passed away at age 65. The legendary commentator was reported to have died in his sleep while he was in Peru on a charity mission. Still, an official cause of death has not been announced at the time of this article’s publication.
Some strength sports fans may not know his name, but his voice is unforgettable. Butler called the action for the WSM competitions for several years —broadcast on British television. Some of Butler’s most famous work may be when he called the historic action in 2017 as Eddie Hall became the first British man to have won the title since 1989. The WSM organizers shared a tribute post on their Instagram page, which can be seen below:
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“The World’s Strongest Man is saddened by the news that legendary commentator Eddie Butler has passed. We will forever be grateful to Eddie for giving his voice to a golden age of strongman. Rest in strength.”
The Wales native was a pro rugby player. He played in 16 national matches, six of which he was captain. After serving as captain for Pontypool RFC and playing for the Barbarians and British Lions, he retired from the international side of the sport in 1985.
Butler spent his post-rugby career in journalism, writing columns for the sport and eventually working for the BBC. Among his assignments were calling the WSM contest, the Olympic Games, and the Invictus Games. He also used his voice to advocate for Welsh independence.
Tributes have poured in from the strongman community, many of whom likely heard his voice calling the action as they were aspiring to compete someday. A few statements are below:
“Sad to hear this. His voice was incredible. RIP.” — Laurence Shahlaei
“Spine-tingling. The man will forever be a legend.” — Gavin Bilton
“Those voiceovers were awe-inspiring. Terrible news, absolute legend of a commentator.” — Paul Smith
As of this writing, details of memorial services haven’t been shared publicly.
Featured Image: @theworldsstrongestman on Instagram