The Army veteran son of former England football captain Terry Butcher has died suddenly – with his brother describing him as ‘my hero’ in an emotional tribute.
Christopher Butcher was 35 and the oldest son of the former England captain, who has previously revealed he struggled to cope with the stresses of serving in Afghanistan.
He subsequently left the armed forces and described himself on his Facebook page as ‘just a moody bitter vet’.
His shock death was announced by his younger brother Edward Butcher, 31, via the social media site and prompted a raft of condolences and tributes.
The Army veteran son of former former England football captain Terry Butcher, 35-year-old Christopher (pictured) has died suddenly
The 31-year-old posted: ‘It is with the up most sadness that I regret to say that my brother Christopher Butcher has passed away this morning.
‘My older brother was the best brother I can ever of asked for and his death has hit the entire family hard.
‘The family are together and we will release the dates of the funeral in due time. I wanted to put this on Facebook to inform all who knew him.
‘We know how greatly he was loved and we’re sorry that we can’t call every person who knew him to tell them.’
He then posted another message saying: ‘Chris you were my hero, you were my best friend and you were someone I would throw myself in the way of a truck for!
Christopher (left), who was 35 and the ex-defender’s (right) oldest son, had struggled to cope with the stresses of serving in Afghanistan
Their father had previously spoken of his pride at Christopher’s service in the Army, but said in one interview, ‘When he told me about going into that compound in Afghanistan, feeling the bullets pinging off his helmet, well…’
‘This is for you and thank you for everything you ever taught me and I will miss you for the rest of my life but you will never be forgotten!’
Scores of people responded to the post to pay tribute to the former Army Captain.
One said: ‘Hello sir, I served with your brother in Iraq. …he was my commander and a top bloke….sorely will be missed. .RIP boss’.
Another added: ‘Incredibly sorry and heartbroken to hear this Ed. He was a an amazing guy and will be missed by so many’.
His father, 58, was capped 77 times by England, and is most famous for his heavily-bloodied head and shirt during a World Cup Qualifier against Sweden in 1989.
Terry 58, was capped 77 times by England, and is most famous for his heavily-bloodied head and shirt during a game against Sweden in 1989
In his club career, he won the UEFA Cup with Ipswich, as well as three Scottish titles with Rangers, before managing the likes of Coventry, Sunderland and, most recently, Newport County.
A source told the Sun: ‘Terry is understandably distraught, as are the whole family. It had really rocked them.’
He had previously spoken of his pride at Christopher’s service in the Army, but said in one interview, ‘When he told me about going into that compound in Afghanistan, feeling the bullets pinging off his helmet, well…’ before being overcome with emotion.