Bernard Butler, well known Island footballer and draughtsman at Saunders-Roe, has died at 94.

Born in Coventry in 1925 to Kate and William, he and his younger brother Bob used to holiday to his mother’s hometown of Niton before moving to the Island in the mid 1930s.

He attended Grange Road School in East Cowes.

At 14, he left school to begin his apprenticeship and lifelong career at aircraft engineering company, Saunders-Roe (Saro), which later became Westland, and British Hovercraft Corporation (BHC).

Mr Butler stayed with the company until his retirement in around 1984, leaving his position as chief draughtsman, having worked his way to the top during his 45 year career, which included a six-month stint in Canada.

It was during his time at Saunders-Roe that Mr Butler met his future wife Ella in 1946, at one of the regular dances they held.

They courted for five years, marrying in 1951 just after Ella’s 21st birthday.

They had two children, Brian and Paula, and remained happily married until Mrs Butler’s death, in November, 2019.

Mrs Butler was a teacher at Whippingham Primary School and they spent many happy years living in East Cowes before moving to Wootton in 1975.

Mr Butler was well known across the Island for his involvement in Isle of Wight football. With his brother, they were known as the ‘Butler Brothers’, playing for Cowes, Saro and Newport FC.

He once trialled for Southampton but the story goes he did not make the cut due to being too small.

He kept a journal including details of all the games he played, the players’ positions and newspaper cuttings.

On retirement, he enjoyed going on walks and found any excuse to go for a fast-paced stroll.

His granddaughter, Natasha, arrived in 1989, which provided him the perfect opportunity, walking her so many miles in her pram he wore the wheels out.

He was well-known around Wootton for his walking and stayed active until a fall in 2017 left him with a broken hip, from which he never fully recovered.

During the last year of his life he lost his wife of 68 years, and also his daughter, Paula, at 59, to cancer.

A funeral service will be held on Monday, March 23, at 12.45pm at the IW Crematorium.