Former professional football player and Cumberland County Sheriff Earl 'Moose' Butler dies at age 84

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Former Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler passed away Sunday at the age of 84 years old, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

Butler served 22-years as Cumberland County's Sheriff before retiring in 2016. and was one of the most widely known public figures in the county for decades.

He earned the Nickname "Moose" as an All-American high school football player who went on to play for UNC and then the professional football team the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners issued a statement saying:

"The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners extends our deepest condolences to Sheriff Butler's family and friends, as well as the law enforcement community, which has lost a dedicated champion. We are grateful for Sheriff Butler's 22 years of service to Cumberland County and the legacy he leaves behind."

Governor Cooper also tweeted his condolences after hearing of Butler's death.

Cumberland County Commissioners have ordered all flags at county facilities to lowered to half- staff in honor of Butler.
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