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Ipswich Town icon Terry Butcher joins experienced support company

Ipswich Town icon Terry Butcher joins experienced support company

From Rachael McMenemy, BBC News, Suffolk

Combat2Coffee founder Nigel Seaman with Terry Butcher. Fight2Coffee

Combat2Coffee founder Nigel Seaman says he is excited about what the nonprofit can achieve with Terry Butcher on board

Ipswich Town and England football legend Terry Butcher has become patron of a charity that encourages veterans to talk about their mental health over a cup of coffee.

The 65-year-old, who has competed in three world championships, has teamed up with Suffolk-based organisation Combat2Coffee to support veterans and their families.

He supported the call for better mental health support for veterans’ families after his son Christopher, who served in Afghanistan, died in 2017 from a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Butcher, captain of his club and national team, said: “I am doing this for my son, for what he has suffered and what we have all been through as a family.”

Combat2Coffee was founded in 2018 by Royal Anglia veteran Nigel Seaman after he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Butcher, whose appointment comes at the start of Armed Forces Week, said: “I am very honoured and humbled. My son would have loved it if he was still here.”

“My son followed the same path as Nigel.

“Many veterans are currently experiencing mental and physical health issues. They are leaving military service and there is still not much help for them.

“Combat2Coffee is a great organization because it introduces people to a brew that gets them talking to other people. That puts your mind at ease as a veteran.

“There is hope, great hope – but we want to give them even more.

“I am doing this for my son, for what he has suffered and what we have all been through as a family.”

Combat2Coffee Terry Butcher (centre) with Combat2coffee members.Fight2Coffee

The nonprofit offers coffee meetups and conducts barista training for veterans to support their mental health

Mr Seaman said: “Together we will not only seek to change lives one sip at a time with our coffee, but also use its reach to create positive change at a national level.

“I look forward to seeing how much we can achieve together.”

Combat2Coffee has served more than 250,000 cups of hot beverage in 2023, each one labeled with the contact information of veterans and mental health organizations.

The company also operates a café and trains experienced staff at its Barista Academy in Ipswich.

Butcher, who grew up in Lowestoft, won 77 caps for England between 1980 and 1990 and played more than 350 games for Ipswich Town.