West Midlands radio legend Tony Butler is retiring after a career as old as commercial radio itself.
He’s being forced to stand down after heart problems, and at the age of 77, has spent almost 40 years on the air.
He started the original football phone-in on BRMB in 1974, and whilst Head of Sport for the station it was Butler who gave a young Tom Ross his first break in broadcasting. Tom said: ”Tony Butler is a broadcasting legend and I will always be grateful for the opportunity he gave me all those years ago. Enjoy your retirement Tony”.
He was sacked from BRMB in 10 years later after a row with a fellow disabled broadcaster. The dismissal of such a high profile personality was front page news in Birmingham, and programmes on BRMB were severely affected as some of Butler’s former colleagues walked out on strike.
He joined the BBC shortly afterwards, and was appointed Manager of BBC WM in 1987 then went on to a rival Football Phone-in and breakfast show.
After various other stints on radio stations around the Midlands, Butler has most recently been heard every Friday teatime on Orion Media’s Gold where he teamed up with Tom Ross to continue the now traditional Football Phone-In.
The announcement came on the first programme of the new 2012/13 season, which you can hear it in full here:
Story and photo credit: FreeRadio.co.uk