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Tributes paid to talent Norfolk rower

PUBLISHED: 07:08 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:31 02 July 2010

Peter Butters.

Peter Butters.

Michael Pollitt, obituaries editor

A doctor and renowned member of Norwich Rowing Club has died at the age of 49.

A doctor and renowned member of Norwich Rowing Club has died at the age of 49.

Rowing was Peter Butters' great love and one of his proudest moments was stroking his coxless four to victory over a Canadian team at the Henley Veteran Regatta last July. And it was to be his last race for Norwich Rowing Club as a long illness took its toll.

Dr Butters, who trained at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, where he met his wife, Susan, qualified in 1983. He went on to specialise in cardiology and general medicine, becoming a Member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1987.

He joined the Norwich vocational training scheme, where his hospital posts included obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry and paediatrics.

But in 1991, he went to work in New Zealand, where he spent 11 months as a medical officer. On his return to Britain, he joined a general practice in Wiltshire and was also medical officer at Marlborough College.

In August 1999, Dr Butters, who lived in south Norfolk, joined Bungay Medical Practice, which was not totally unknown territory because his wife's father had been in practice in Loddon.

At Bungay he rapidly became an indispensable member of the primary care team, taking on the prescribing lead in the practice. He also had a progressive approach to practice development including commissioning and clinical governance and was responsible for the care of patients in All Hallows Hospital, Ditchingham.

A practitioner of acupuncture, he adopted the discipline into his basic day-to-day medical practice, which was used for selected conditions.

A medical practitioner, he was empathetic, compassionate, and had “bucket loads of enthusiasm” and was respected as a motivator and team leader, who was much loved by his patients for his unstinting care.

He was a passionate supporter of the £1m project for a rowing centre at Whitlingham, which would be a community faculty for five Norwich clubs and also linked with at least 25 schools to promote rowing. He asked for donations in his memory towards the £750,000 public appeal or to the Old Mill and Millgates Medical Practice at Porlingland, where he was a patient.

He had competed at Henley for the past four years and in the highest finish came third in the annual Henley Veteran Regatta. He also coached the Norwich School's rowing team and was a member of the Norwich Punt Club, where he sailed on the Broads with his family.

He relished flying fishing for trout and salmon, often spending a week abroad in remote countryside.

His oldest son is currently reading medicine at University College, London, with a view to following his father into the profession.

He leaves a widow, Susan, two sons, Oliver and Joss, and daughter, Laura.

A funeral service for family and friends will be held at Holy Trinity Church, Loddon, on Friday, April 16, 2pm. A memorial service will take place at Holy Trinity Church, Bungay, on Friday, May 14, 3pm, for colleagues and patients.

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