Northern Ireland

Cliftonville FC pays tribute to Linfield physiotherapist Paul Butler

The death of the Linfield physio has caused shock and sadness across the football community

Paul Butler Photo: Linfield FC
Linfield FC physiotherapist Paul Butler, who died suddenly last week

CLIFTONVILLE Football Club has paid tribute to rival Linfield’s physiotherapist Paul Butler following his sudden death.

A statement on the team’s website said: “Cliftonville Football Club extends deepest sympathy to all at Linfield following the untimely loss of their physiotherapist Paul Butler.”

Describing Mr Butler as a “consummate professional” the tribute references the care he provided for Cliftonville defender Odhrán Casey during the Irish Cup Final in May when he injured his right leg whilst playing against Linfield at Windsor Park.

“Paul will be sorely missed by all at the Blues, and we share in the condolences they and the wider Irish League family have offered to his wife Rachael and their three young children.”

Mr Butler passed away suddenly last Thursday, June 6.

His death caused shock and sadness across the football community in Northern Ireland with players, fans and journalists amongst those to pay tribute to the popular clubman.

Linfield FC, where Mr Butler worked for 15 years, said: “The directors, manager, staff and players of Linfield Football Club deeply regret the untimely passing of our beloved friend and club physiotherapist Paul Butler.

“We were all deeply shocked to hear the news of Paul’s death and we extend our deepest and sincere condolences to his wife and family circle at this sad time.”

The Reds also encouraged supporters to “donate whatever they possibly can” to the JustGiving page established by Linfield to help raise funds that might relieve some of the pressures Mr Butler’s family are experiencing at this time.

So far more than £30,000 has been raised – well ahead of the £5,000 target.

Mr Butler’s funeral was held in Ballyhenry Presbyterian Church in Newtownabbey today.

His family said that donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Lighthouse Charity which aids mental health services in Belfast or to Paul’s JustGiving tribute page.