'He was devoted to the game' - Tributes paid to legendary London Irish hurler Mick Butler

'He was devoted to the game' - Tributes paid to legendary London Irish hurler Mick Butler

MICK BUTLER, who has died aged 80, will be remembered as a devoted hurling man who forged close links with Fr. Murphy’s since moving to London in the early 1960s.

The Rathnure, Co. Wexford native remains the only London Gael to receive an All-Star nomination as part of the Exiles hurling team that reached the 1971 All-Ireland semi-finals, producing a memorable performance against Kilkenny.

He received a Power’s Gold Label Award in the same year for his displays.

Mr Butler, who worked mostly as a painter and decorator in London, was regarded as a kind, gentle man by his club mates and Gaels throughout London.

Fr. Murphy’s president, Tommy Harrell, spoke of Mr. Butler’s incredible hurling talent: “I knew Mick since the 1960s, we hurled together for over 15 years.

"He was the best goalkeeper I ever came across and undoubtedly the best goalkeeper in London.

"Mick played with Fr. Murphy’s up until his early 60s.

"He loved his hurling and never missed a game in Ruislip, he was just totally devoted to the game and a great family man.

"Mick was a gentleman off the field and as tough as nails on it.”

Jim Howlin, the Fr. Murhy’s vice-president and a fellow Rathnure clubman said it was a sad day for everyone who knew the legendary goalkeeper.

“We trained together sometimes or pucked the ball around in the summer evenings.

"He was a terrific goalkeeper, the best in London.

"He attended our Intermediate Championship final last year with his son John who lives in Australia to watch his grandson, Christopher, win a county title.

"It’s very sad for the older members of the club who played with him.”

Mick Butler is survived by his wife and three children.

His removal will take place in Sacred Heart Church on Wednesday, April 5 at 6pm on Quex Road, Kilburn.

The funeral mass will take place on Thursday, April 6 at 12.15pm at Sacred Heart, following onto Kensal Green Cemetery for 1.30pm.