Sevens event in memory of Sam Butcher raises awareness of alcohol addiction and mental health

By Alex Dudley

Two years ago, the lives of family members of Sam Butcher were turned upside down when he passed away from a liver failure aged just 27.

However, his younger brother Jake is determined to keep his memory alive and also raise awareness for people suffering with alcohol addiction. While Sam was a plumbing engineer by trade; his weekends were always taken up by the main hobby in his life – rugby.

He played for Redruth Albany and Illogan Park. However, his demons ensured that he lost control of his life, and sadly, he passed away, leaving behind his wife and young daughter.

In 2018, Jake proposed that a sevens competition would be the best way to remember his brother and also raise money. Last year’s tournament was a success with proceeds from the day going towards the Cornwall Hospice Care and his daughter’s trust fund. Jake had no hesitations organising the competition again in 2019.

Speaking about his memories of his brother to Cornwall Live, Jake said: “He was outgoing, bubbly and always the life and soul. Sam was a comedian. He had everyone in stitches and had so many friends. There were between 200 and 300 people at his funeral.

“On the face of it, he had everything – a daughter who is three now, a wife, everything – but drink just took over. We still don’t really understand how, but it did. It was horrible to see.”

But, most importantly, the reason for the event is to raise awareness of mental health in men.

Jake continued: “It’s challenging to know what to do when people have an addiction. I feel I went a bit wrong by arguing, falling out and having a go.

“People suffering from alcoholism or addiction, in general, need support and an arm around them, pulling in not pushing away. It’s important to keep anger in and show a little love. Me and Sam didn’t really talk for months, and I really struggle with that now.”

Jake came up with the idea of organising the charity event as an opportunity for family and friends to celebrate Sam’s life and raise money for the two causes.

The sevens competition will take place at Redruth Rugby Club on Saturday the 6th of July.

Main photo: Twitter

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