BOVEY Tracey chairman Nigel Mountford has paid tribute to club stalwart Kevin Butcher following his sudden death over the Christmas break.
Butcher, who was in his early 60s and had worked in the pottery industry, joined Bovey as a teenage spin bowler and spent most of his playing career in the 2nd XI, including a stint as captain.
It was after his playing days ended that Butcher became an integral cog in the machinery that kept the club ticking over smoothly.
Butcher became a familiar figure on match days working on the ground with his friend Colin Payne, but did much more for the club than that.
“Kevin became interested in pitch preparation and for many years cut the outfield on a regular basis,” said Mountford.
“At that time we had a mower with just a three-foot cutting width and it took more than five hours to cut the Recreation Ground.”
When Payne stepped away from pitch preparation, Butcher scaled down his work on the ground too. But he was not lost to the club.
“Kevin would often turn up on a Wednesday morning for a cup of coffee and then sit and watch the bowls matches next door,” said Mountford.
“For many years, Kevin would spend a great deal of time at the club during the winter months, cleaning equipment, some painting and general DIY.
“When we all returned in the spring, we would often find new shelves and wooden boxes to house the stumps and bails.
“Kevin will be sadly missed as he was always at the club.
“He knew all the players - even the ones in our colts teams.
“You could always rely on Kevin if the club needed opening for matches and any other functions.
“It was a sad day for all of us when we heard of his passing.”
Kevin Butcher, who lived alone, was found dead at his house in Bovey Tracey after neighbours became concerned about his well being..