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A GP who previously worked as a senior medic for Manchester City plunged 300ft to his death when he and his wife set out to revisit a mountain ridge where he proposed 27 years before.
Doting husband and father to two twin boys, Dr Jamie Butler, 54, popped the question to his wife Margaret on Striding Edge in the Lake District in 1994.
The couple, from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, had returned to the Lakes last November to follow the same path and rekindle the moment.
An inquest heard that when the couple reached Striding Edge, Dr Butler walked on alone to find the exact spot where he proposed and a mist came down, dramatically reducing visibility, before he fell from the mountain.
He suffered significant injuries, including a fractured skull, and his body was later found by mountain rescuers below the ridge before he was pronounced dead.
The inquest was told Dr Butler – who also previously worked as team doctor for Premiership rugby union side Sale Sharks – was facing unspecified historic ‘allegations’ and was suspended from his practice at the time of his death.
But his doctor said he was sure ‘there was no suicidal intention’ as Dr Butler was ‘determined’ to clear his name.
After the inquest, a former colleague remembered him as a ‘wonderful guy who will be very missed by his friends and family’.
An inquest heard Dr Jamie Butler (pictured) fell from a mountain ridge as he and his wife visited the same spot where they got engaged 27 years before
Dr Butler worked as a senior medic at Premier League side Manchester City and also as team doctor for Premiership rugby union side Sale Sharks
Dr Jamie Butler (right) greeted Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli (centre) after the player was injured during a match against Everton in 2010
Doug Jones, the head physiotherapist at Altuis Healthcare, in Hale, worked with Dr Butler at Sale Sharks when he was part of the physio team.
Speaking to MailOnline, he said: ‘He was a really fantastic guy who didn’t have a bad word to say about anyone. He was very loved by the staff and players at both Sale & Man City….you just couldn’t not warm to him.
‘In his last treatment before he died he stopped me in the waiting room and asked me to walk out with him to his car.
‘The last thing he said to me was that he was so happy to see how Altius had grown from nothing to what it is now and that I should be very proud of the whole team there.
‘A wonderful guy who I am sure will be very missed by his family and friends.’
The Striding Edge area and Helvellyn mountain peak at Lake District, Cumbria, England (File image)
The Lake District was said to have held a special place in the couple’s hearts, the hearing in Cockermouth was told.
The inquest heard the couple had taken on the walk in the afternoon of November 2, 2021.
Mrs Butler said when the couple reached Striding Edge she was too tired and Dr Butler walked along it on his own to find the exact spot where he asked her to marry him.
In a statement, Mrs Butler described seeing her husband walk off into mist.
After he was gone for a while, she shouted after him but got no response and called the police.
Mountain rescuers found her husband below the ridge dead from multiple injuries.
Dr Butler worked at as a senior medic for Manchester City where his former colleague said he was loved by the staff and players. Pictured: The Etihad stadium, home to Manchester City
Coroner Kirsty Gomersal told the hearing that she accepted a post-mortem finding that Dr Butler died from multiple injuries.
Concluding his death was an accident, she said ‘his doctor was sure there was no suicidal intention’ as Dr Butler was ‘determined to clear his name’ from the allegations against him.
Mrs Butler said: ‘Jamie was a loving husband with two twin boys who he adored.
‘He will be forever missed.
‘He died doing what he loved.’
Dr Jamie Butler pictured during his time as a medic with Sale Sharks Rugby Club in 2008
Dr Butler (right) at Carrington training ground with Futuregen sports agent Saif Rubie (left), Manchester City’s ex-manager Sven Goran Eriksson (second left) and translator Jose Duque Robertos (centre)
Dr Butler studied medicine at Liverpool University and showed an early interest in neurology and surgery. During his post-graduate training, he trained in all surgical specialities.
He became neurosurgical registrar in Oxford before training as a GP with wide interests, particularly in sports medicine. He once tola an interviewer at TRB Chemedica: ‘I was a keen cyclist and runner, always looking at ways to improve performance and speed recovery.’
After stints at English Institute of Sport (EIS) and Sale Sharks Rugby Club, roles, Dr Butler became a medic for Manchester City Football Club in 2007 and was promoted to senior medical officer in 2009. In 2011, he was cleared of wrongdoing after defender Kolo Toure was given a six months ban after testing positive for drugs.
Toure had taken his wife’s diet pills and when found out, claimed he had shown the substance to Dr Butler, who he insisted gave him the thumbs up to take the pills.
A Football Association report ruled against Toure and stated: ‘[Dr Butler] never told him it was safe to use water tablets [and] he would unequivocally have said they were prohibited and should not be used.’
Source: Daily Mail