ROTHERHAM United manager Ronnie Moore has paid his own tribute to the Macclesfield Town midfielder Richard Butcher who died this week and was a player Moore once signed.
The Millers boss was in charge at Oldham Athletic when he signed Butcher from Lincoln City in 2005.
"He certainly was a player with such ability that he could have played at a higher level than he did," said Moore.
"I remember he was such a fit lad. He'd win the short sprints and runs over distance and he'd be the last person I would think something like this would happen to when so young."
Butcher, only 29, died in his sleep and was found dead on Tuesday.
"I used to warn my daughter never to bring home a footballer but I would certainly have made an exception for Richard Butcher who was such a fantastic lad.
"If she'd have brought him home I'd have been perfectly happy. He was a bit quiet, perhaps a bit unusual for a big lad, a 6 footer, but he was a very likeable guy indeed.
"My thoughts go out to his mum and dad, the nicest people you could wish to meet. I remember coming out in support of him when he was getting some stick off the Oldham fans and I had a go at the fans for that and they had a go at me over that.
"But his mum and dad were really grateful for that support. They let me know that and, in fact, even sent me a Christmas card every year since.
"It's a very sad loss and my thoughts are with his family and also his teammates and everyone at Macclesfield Town. It rather puts football into perspective doesn't it?"
Butcher's last game turned out to be against Rotherham a week last Monday at Macclesfield. Two days before that game, Butcher had scored in Macclesfield's 2-2 draw at Bury.
It's the second unexpected death tragedy for the Moss Rose club after the sudden death last year of manager Keith Alexander.
Butcher was also at Peterborough, Notts Co and Lincoln where he had three spells.
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