PONTYPOOL great Eddie Butler has backed the campaign to safeguard the immediate future of Pontypool Museum by pledging to hold a fundraising evening for free – with all proceeds going to Torfaen Museum Trust.

The former Pooler and Wales captain will hold the event in May – with a talk about his time with the historic club during the glory days of the 1970s and 1980s - when they were one of the most feared teams in Britain - along with the rest of his rugby career, the highlight of the evening.

It will be part of an ongoing fundraising campaign to make up a £19,000 shortfall in the museum’s core budget, following a radical cost-cutting budget from Torfaen council. The museum has also launched a drive to get 1,000 new members to sign up. Around 30 have signed up so far.

The event will also feature a raffle, with Sassy Hicks, fundraising officer for the museum calling Mr Butler – who was also a British Lion and is now a BBC sports commentator and journalist – “a real coup” for the trust.

“We are thrilled that Eddie has agreed to come and give a fun and enlightening talk about his rugby days to help us raise funds,” she said.

“The museum safeguards the entire collection of Pontypool RFC memorabilia and we will have some selected items on display for this event, so this will be a great evening for rugby fans who want to help support the museum.”

Arthur Crane MBE, who called the museum ‘the heart of the borough’ last month, urged people to get their tickets early.

“Pontypool RFC is very close to Eddie’s heart, but he is also very supportive of the town as a whole,” added Mr Crane, a director of Pooler, and author and co-author, respectively, of Pontypool’s Pride and Pontypool’s Heritage.

“He is an excellent speaker and I am extremely looking forward to it.”

‘An Evening with Eddie Butler’ will be held on Friday May 2 from 7pm. Refreshments will also be available.

Tickets – printed for free by DMP Publishing in Pontypool – are on sale now for £10 each, with 80 available. Museum members can buy them for £7.50.

It is hoped a raft of new members will sign up on the night, with fees £15 per year for an individual and £20 for a family.

To book tickets, or for more information, call Pontypool Museum 01495 752036.