Linfield left 'deeply shocked' by untimely passing of 'beloved friend' and club physio Paul Butler

A picture of Mr Butler
-Credit: (Image: Linfield FC)

Linfield Football Club has been left "deeply shocked" following the untimely passing of club physio Paul Butler. The Blues paid an emotional tribute to Mr Butler on the club's social media on Friday afternoon.

He was a key member of David Healy's backroom team at Windsor Park. Linfield led the tributes to Mr Butler passing on their "deepest and sincere condolences" to his family.

"The Directors, Manager, Staff and Players of Linfield Football Club deeply regret the untimely passing of our beloved friend and club physiotherapist Paul Butler," read the post. "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."

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The shock news about Mr Butler comes after the sudden passing of lifelong fan Gary Galbraith on Thursday. Gary followed his beloved Blues home and away and was a volunteer at the club for over 20 years.

He was an integral part of Radio Linfield providing well-crafted music playlists for broadcast. Jonathan Lamont and Peter Mullan, who helped out alongside Gary with the show, paid a special tribute to their friend on the Linfield website.

A picture of Mr Galbraith [centre] with the Gibson Cup
Mr Galbraith [centre] pictured with the Gibson Cup -Credit:Linfield FC

"Gary started supporting The Blues at an early age and could recall games going as far back at the famous Manchester City victory at Windsor Park," they said. "He had a great knowledge of the history of the club and could recount information in great detail.

"He recalled being in Dundalk on that infamous night in 1979 and also being one of the few to get into the game when a David Jeffrey goal at Shamrock Rovers put us into the next round in Europe. Gary rarely missed a game home or away and on occasions he would travel with supporters clubs, notably East End LSC, and for most of the last 30+ years with his friend Jonathan Lamont.

"At the height of the fanzine boom in the 1990s Gary started, and was the editor of, the Linfield fanzine One Team in Ulster, which many fans still talk about to this day. When Radio Linfield was formed Gary was there from the start. Jonathan and Peter did the announcing and running about while Gary was the music man, spending the week putting together a play list, sometimes with the occasional dubious song thrown in depending on the opposition!

"Gary was a valued club volunteer for over 20 years and still occasionally helped out if required on a matchday. Over the last few years Gary had a spell of ill health, from which he recovered. He was particularly delighted to get to Mourneview Park to see The Blues defeat Larne to win the Irish Cup in 2021 – his only game of that season.

"We will greatly miss Gary at Linfield and appreciate all the messages sent to his family and friends. To his mother Ethel, wife Heather, sister Alyson, nephews Daniel and Cameron, the family circle, and his many friends, we send our deepest condolences. AFJ."

Gary had a wealth of knowledge on the history of the Blues and in the 1990s he started and edited the Linfield fanzine 'One Team in Ulster'. He also founded the Linfield History Society, who posted a tribute of their own on their official 'X' account.

"It is with the deepest sadness that we learned of the passing of our founder member Gary Galbraith,” they said. “Gaz was a great Blueman, superb company and a go-to authority on so many Linfield matches & players. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”

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