Former Wales rugby captain Eddie Butler has died at the age of 65.

The iconic player and broadcaster died in his sleep while on a charity trek in Peru.

Pontypool native Butler played 16 times for Wales between 1980 and 1984, captaining them on six occasions, while he also toured New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions in 1983.

Following his retirement from rugby, he became better known for his work in the media, becoming lead rugby commentator for the BBC, taking over from the iconic Bill McLaren.

His passing was confirmed on Thursday afternoon by cancer charity Prostate Cymru, for whom he was doing a fundraising trek in the Andes.

"In the early hours of Thursday 15 September, Ed passed away peacefully in his sleep at Ecoinka base camp in the Peruvian Andes," a statement reads.

"He leaves behind his wife Susan and six children, who are very much in our thoughts."

Butler represented Cambridge University from 1976 to 1978 while studying French and Spanish at Fitzwilliam College.

The imposing back-row forward made his Wales debut in the 18-9 win over France in January 1980.

After rugby Butler enjoyed a short stint as a teacher, then with a property development company before finding another niche in broadcasting.

Butler moved on from spells with national newspapers to excel for the BBC in commentary on rugby, but also adding colour to major sporting events, notably Olympic coverage.

Former England hooker Brian Moore paid tribute to his friend and BBC colleague on social media.

"I am devastated by this news," Moore tweeted. "Ed, I'm sorry I never told you how much I admired you as a broadcaster and as a man. Well, it wasn't like that between us, was it.

"Condolences to Sue and your family. Sport has lost an iconic voice.

"I have lost a very dear friend. Goodbye Edward."

Former Wales captain Sam Warburton paid tribute to Butler's "amazing contribution" to sport and journalism.

"Stunned at the news and passing of Eddie Butler," said Warburton.

"Thoughts with his family. What an amazing contribution to rugby and broadcasting.

"A privilege to have played and co-commentated with his voice. RIP Eddie."

World Rugby chairman and Grand Slam-winning England captain Sir Bill Beaumont hailed Butler's peerless commentary brilliance.

"Eddie Butler was a true commentary great - the recognisable voice of the sport to millions and unrivalled in his storytelling behind the mic," Beaumont tweeted.

"Captain of Wales and a superb player, he was also a true gentleman. I am deeply shocked. My thoughts are with his family and BBC colleagues."