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The Christopher Butcher Memorial Game

Exclusive write up by Steve Rains:

Solent Thrashers 41 – 14 Ipswich Cardinals

Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund  2,500 – 0 PTSD

The Solent Thrashers and the Ipswich Cardinals met on Saturday in a Charity game to remember Captain Christopher Butcher an Army veteran who lost his battle with PTSD earlier this year.

Terry Butcher (former England Captain) was Christopher’s father and his two other sons Ed and Ali play for the Thrashers. Christopher played for the Cardinals hence the poignant match up in the memorial game.

In an England World Cup qualifier in 1989, Terry Butcher left the field of play with his white kit almost entirely dyed red with blood. Clearly a bigger fan of the Away strip. Image Credit:

The Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund was the chosen charity – Lee was another former soldier to fall victim to PTSD after leaving the Army and the fund set up in his name works to support those suffering with the disease.

Image Credit: Jason Brown Photography

The biggest and most important result of the day was the honouring of these two brave veterans and a significant boost towards raising awareness of the disease. The fund is set to receive over £2,500 from direct donations, raffles, stall holders contributions etc. The Butcher family and both teams are extremely grateful to everyone who contributed including significant contributions from BAFRA and Gridiron Hub.

Image Credit: Jason Brown Photography

The game itself did justice to the day with both teams really going for it. Ipswich took an early lead and the Thrashers had to fight hard to turn a 0-7 deficit into a halftime 14-7 lead with scores from Tom Davies and Peter Wheeler.

In the second half the Thrashers added a score with a Brad Sawyers to Joe Pascoe connection before the Cardinals came roaring back with a TD to put the game back to a one score difference at 21-14 to the home team.

That narrow gap did not last for long as Dayle Greenfield took the kick off back for 92yds and a TD – Matt Hewlett reliably adding the extra point again.

Image Credit: Jason Brown Photography

The game was fiercely contested and provided great entertainment for the large crowd.

After a long gain from Running Back Tom Davies the Thrashers were on the Cardinals 12yd line – Offensive Lineman Ed Butcher playing his last game in his Brothers Memorial game came into the backfield. A 6 yard gain was followed by a 6 yard scoring run (which saw him mobbed by the entire Thrashers sideline) – he eventually escaped the pile but sadly failed to convert his kick for the extra point! 34-14

Image Credit: Jason Brown Photography

The final score fell to the Thrashers Defense as Alex Veitch picked off an Ipswich pass as they fought hard to narrow the gap. This time the other Butcher brother Ali (also an O Lineman) was nominated to kick the PAT and he popped it over to secure a 41-14 win for the Thrashers

Both teams celebrated the most important result of the day together and are planning to repeat the event again next year.


Ed Butcher commented ” On behalf of my family and I, we would like to thank everyone who donated and supported us on this day. To see two teams come together and play each other in honour of one fallen brother, son, husband, friend and team mate was a truly incredible testament to someone who meant so much to so many”



Additonal External Media

ITV News Coverage

Jason Brown Photography Photo Album

J Lawrence Photography Photo Album

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