Former sports reporter remembered

Peter Butcher, centre, celebrating Hornchurch being champions this past season, a few weeks before he sadly died. Picture: Lee Power
Peter Butcher, centre, celebrating Hornchurch being champions this past season, a few weeks before he sadly died. Picture: Lee Power

Former Gazette and Herald sports reporter Peter Butcher has been remembered for his dedication to non-league football.

Peter, who moved back to Essex in the early 1990s, has died aged 67 and his funeral was held at Upminster Crematorium last Monday.

He joined Beckett Newspapers as sports reporter in 1980 at the age of 30 and immediately looked for a small, non-league club to help.

Peter made contact with Lancing Football Club and it was agreed he would write their programme.

Richard Amey, who was chief sports reporter at the time, said: “He was a phenomenal football man and his passion was in non-league football.

“He set new standards in Sussex football for the quality of programme production.

“Peter got to cover the best period of football that Worthing has ever had, when Barry Lloyd joined as manager and transformed the club.

“He was great company. We were a great team. We saw the fun in things and wrote about funny things that happened. I think we both developed the scope of sports reporting to make it more human.”

Peter also covered cricket for the newspaper group and he ran Rustington Cricket Club’s 2nd XI for a period.