John Butler (footballer, born 1962)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named John Butler, see John Butler (disambiguation).
John Butler
Personal information
Full name John Edward Butler[1]
Date of birth (1962-02-07) 7 February 1962 (age 53)[1]
Place of birth Liverpool, England[1]
Playing position Right back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Prescot Cables
1981–1988 Wigan Athletic 245 (15)
1988–1995 Stoke City 262 (7)
1995–1997 Wigan Athletic 57 (1)
Stalybridge Celtic
Total 564 (23)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

John Edward Butler (born 7 February 1962) is a former English association footballer who played in the Football League for Wigan Athletic and Stoke City chalking up 300 senior appearances for both clubs.[1][2]

A player of versatility, he played in all 11 positions on the pitch at some point in his career. His specialist position was right back. In a 16 season professional career, Butler played in three successful promotion campaigns that included lifting two divisional titles he also won the Football League Trophy in 1992.

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Butler was born in Liverpool and grew up in the Wavertree area with his mother, step father, three brothers and one sister. He played football at non-league side Prescot Cables to whom he was introduced by Jimmy Wield, the man Butler cites as the person to give him a career as a professional footballer. Butler was being scouted by Liverpool with Geoff Twentyman and Tom Saunders scheduled to watch him. However the game in question was cancelled and Wigan Athletic seized the opportunity with assistant manager Harry McNally offering Butler terms the day after.[2]

Wigan Athletic[edit]

Joining at Christmas at the age of 19 and soon establishing himself in the first team, Butler enjoyed success in his first season. In 1981–82 in English football under the management of Larry Lloyd, Wigan were promoted from the fourth to the third tier.[2] The "Latics" finished third behind Sheffield United and Bradford City. Butler's versatility saw him play in all eleven positions on the pitch in his Wigan career including goalkeeper when Nigel Atkins was substituted in a game due to injury. Butler was the club player of the year in 1984. The best run of his career in the two major domestic cups was reaching the quarter finals in the 1986–87 FA Cup when Wigan were beaten 2–0 at home by Leeds United. His first spell at Wigan spanned seven seasons.[2]

Stoke City[edit]

Mick Mills signed the then 26-year old Butler for Stoke in 1988 for £100,000. He made his Stoke debut against Manchester City on boxing day and kept his place in the side for the remainder of the 1988–89 season. He became a key figure in the Stoke side in the early 1990s and only once in his six full seasons at Stoke did he fail to make over 40 first team appearances, 1990–91 when he still chalked up 37 first team games. He twice made over 50 first team appearances (1991–92 & 1992–93) and topped the club appearances chart outright in 1989–90 and jointly in 1991–92. Butler's first goal for Stoke came on 27 March 1989 in a 2–1 defeat away to Manchester City.[2]

He picked up a winners medal from the 1992 Football League Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium under the management of Lou Macari. The game was a 1–0 win against Stockport County before a crowd of 48,339. The same two sides were pitted against each other in the end of season divisional play-offs. County won the first leg 1–0 and in the second leg Stoke could only draw 1–1 and remained in the Third Division.[2]

Butler and Macari enjoyed another success together when in 1992–93 in English football Stoke won the Second Division title. After a slow start Stoke soon began to start winning and by 21 November 1992 Stoke were top of the table and remained there for the rest of the season and promotion was secured with a record of 93 points.[2] Stoke also went on a club record 25 League games without defeat. He spent two more season at the Victoria Ground in 1993–94 and 1994–95 before being handed a free transfer in June 1995.[2] In total he served with Stoke City for seven seasons amassing 319 appearances scoring nine goals.[2]

Return to Wigan Athletic[edit]

Now aged 33, Butler returned to Wigan in 1995 and ended his last season in football (the 16th of his career) with a success. In 1996–97 in English football under the management of John Dean he helped them win the Third Division title on goal difference ahead of Fulham. After two seasons in his second spell at Wigan, Butler left senior football at the age of 35 to play for Stalybridge Celtic.

Life after football[edit]

Butler works as a driver for a courier company based in Goldburn near Wigan. He lives in Ashton in Makerfield with his wife. He spends his spare time watching horse racing and remains a fan of football, particularly ex clubs Wigan and Stoke and also home town club Liverpool.

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season Division League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Wigan Athletic 1981–82 Fourth Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1982–83 Third Division 40 4 2 1 2 0 0 0 44 5
1983–84 Third Division 41 3 4 0 2 0 1 0 48 3
1984–85 Third Division 45 3 4 0 4 0 6 0 59 3
1985–86 Third Division 36 0 5 0 1 0 4 0 46 0
1986–87 Third Division 36 0 3 0 1 0 3 0 43 0
1987–88 Third Division 26 1 2 1 4 0 2 0 44 2
1988–89 Third Division 20 3 1 0 2 0 2 0 25 2
Total 245 15 21 2 16 0 19 0 301 17
Stoke City 1988–89 Second Division 25 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 25 1
1989–90 Second Division 44 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 49 0
1990–91 Third Division 31 2 1 0 4 0 1 0 37 2
1991–92 Third Division 42 3 1 0 4 0 9 0 56 3
1992–93 Second Division 44 1 2 0 4 0 5 0 55 1
1993–94 First Division 35 0 4 0 2 0 5 0 46 0
1994–95 First Division 41 0 2 0 3 0 5 2 51 2
Total 262 7 11 0 19 0 27 2 319 9
Wigan Athletic 1995–96 Third Division 33 1 3 0 1 0 3 0 40 1
1996–97 Third Division 24 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 26 0
Total 57 1 4 0 1 0 4 0 66 1
Career Total 564 22 36 2 35 0 50 2 685 26
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Anglo-Italian Cup, Full Members Cup, Football League play-offs, Football League Trophy.

Honours[edit]

Wigan Athletic
Stoke City

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lowe, Simon (2000). Stoke City The Modern Era – A Complete Record. Desert Island Books. ISBN 1-874287-39-2. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Stoke City 101 Golden Greats. Desert Islands Books. 2002. ISBN 1-874287-55-4. 

External links[edit]