Don Butler

I’m not quite sure how to present this for Don as we all knew him so well but he and I spent a lot of time together between 1948 and 1961 when I took up golf,

We holidayed together in Austria climbing, Italy hitchhiking etc, lots of tales and memories. A few people will remember the names that I have mentioned below.


I had known Don for some seventy four years, he was my best pal and was  my Best Man when I married Jean in 1957. I first met Don at Old Priory Youth club in 1948 where we first started playing rugby league, he was just a year younger than me, we actually started the team along with Denis King , Pete Waters, Nev Bycroft, Harold Blackburn,[Blackie] Brian Joy and I think Vic York, I can’t remember any more. Don joined the RAF for three years in 1951 and was a PTI, he became interested in fencing and took up the art using a sabre.[obviously he was very good!]  This was where he played rugby union and when he was demobbed he joined York RUFC up at Hob Moor. I went to do my National Service in 1953 and was demobbed in 1955. I played rugby union and when I was demobbed Don Proposed me as a member of York RUFC. I played open side prop for several years with Gerry Downs as tight head prop. With Don as wing forward, he often played lock.

Don was a great character and he had a great memory, he was well known for his rendering of Eskimo Nell which had learnt from start to finish, usually given whilst stripping off naked! He liked to organise schooner races, I always made sure I was in his team, he had the knack of pouring a pint of beer straight down his throat in one , he could  open his gullet and just poured the beer down in one go. Result being his team went straight into the lead leading by two.

His rugby career was phenomenal, he loved his rugby and York RUFC and worked tirelessly for the club.

Sorry to see you go mate, I, with hundreds of other will miss you so much.

Ray Theakston

Ray Theakston

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