Tributes paid to ‘irreplaceable’ former York rugby captain and pub landlord who has died of Covid

14 Jan 2021 @ 5.28 pm
| News

Many tributes are coming in for Don Butler, former captain of York RUFC and a popular pub landlord, who has died aged 87.

The rugby club posted a statement on its website saying: “Sadly, Don Butler passed away at 6am this morning in York Hospital.

“Further details will follow and when the situation allows he will get the send off that he deserves at York Sports Club.”

His son James led the tributes, writing on Facebook: “It is with great sadness that I have to inform you all of the death of Donald Butler, Dad, stubborn to to his last breath.

“Covid got the better of him. He wasn’t quite ready to go, as he said he had another marriage in him. His last words that he spoke to his 20 year old nurse were if I get through this we’re going to getting married’.

“A great loss to the Rugby Club, and to friends and family, he crossed so many generations.”

Don played for York RUFC for 20 years from the mid-1950s, and was captain for three seasons.

He remained as a volunteer at the club for nearly 50 more years.

Don was also a popular and long-serving landlord at pubs in York, notably the Cock & Bottle and the Golden Ball.

Former Yorkshire Evening Press journalist Martin Lacy, a good friend of Don’s, said: “RIP the inimitable, the unique, the irreplaceable Don Butler, long-time mine host of the Cock and Bottle, Casanova of North Yorkshire, Mr York Unicorns, raconteur and bon viveur, a man who shaped and influenced the future of more young men than Baden Powell and Billy Graham put together.

“We won’t see his like again.”

Charlotte Tanikal said on Facebook: “Don was a total legend and such a big part of all our lives.”