Linfield pay touching tribute to late physio during pre-season camp

Photo shows Linfield's traditional staff photo including a space for late physio Paul Butler
-Credit: (Image: Linfield FC)

Linfield have paid a touching tribute to late physio Paul Butler during the club's pre-season training camp in Poland. The Blues are in Gdansk as they continue preparations for the start of the European qualifiers and Irish Premiership season.

The club posted a photograph of all the staff members on the trip, including first-team manager David Healy, chief scout Willie McKeown and kit manager Gary Eccles.

It has become a tradition for the Blues to take a group photo on every overseas trip, but this year there was one man sadly missing.

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In tribute, Linfield left a space in the line-up, in memory of Mr Butler who worked and travelled with the team for many European and pre-season trips.

Linfield said on their website: "The Linfield back-room staff took a moment after training this morning to remember our late colleague and friend, Paul Butler. A space was left in the traditional staff photo that is taken on every trip.

"Paul worked and travelled with the Linfield team to many European campaigns and pre-season training camps in his 15 years at the club and has been massively missed at our pre-season camp this summer in Poland.

"Our thoughts continue to go out to Paul's family and friends."

Photo shows Paul Butler
Paul Butler -Credit:Linfield FC

Mr Butler died on June 6, sending shockwaves throughout Irish League and Northern Ireland football.

Linfield staff set up a fundraising page to support the Butler family, which raised over £30,000 within days of his death.

The appeal said: “We are all devastated and deeply saddened to receive the news of the sudden passing of our colleague, our special friend, Paul. Paul was a huge part of our success at Linfield over the last 15 years.

“Not only was he a dedicated staff member but he was a close, dear friend to us all. Professional, hard-working, kind, with a huge smile and banter to light up any room. Our hearts are breaking for Paul’s family. We are raising funds for Rachael and their three young children, to try and relieve them of any extra pressures they may face, while they are going through this most difficult time.

“He would go above and beyond to help our staff and players, not only our first team but also our Swifts and younger age groups too.”

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