|Date of birth||25 September 1956|
|Place of birth||Chester, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Playing position||Centre Back|
|1995–1997||Gresley Rovers (player)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Paul Futcher (born 25 September 1956 in Chester, England) is a former professional footballer who had a distinguished career as defender in the English football league, for England under 21s and as manager of several non-league clubs. Futcher is also the father of fellow footballer Ben Futcher.
Futcher was the defensive half of twin brothers. His brother was centre-forward Ron. Paul was the most expensive defender in England when he became Manchester City's record signing for £350,000 on 1 June 1978.
Paul began his career with hometown club Chester, who he made his debut for as a 16-year old against Cambridge United in March 1973. This came just a fortnight after his older brother Graham had played his final game for the club and seven months before Ron made his debut for the Blues. Futcher quickly turned professional and had made 20 Football League appearances when Luton Town snapped him up for £100,000 in the summer of 1974. Ron joined him on the journey south, where Paul was to play more than 140 games and won ten England under 21 caps.
Paul replaced club stalwart Tommy Booth in the side which failed to live up to expectations and as the major new signing he attracted criticism. Booth won his place back and on 1 July 1979 Paul left Maine Road for a fee of £150,000 and joined Second Division Oldham Athletic.
Futcher had twice been chosen for the England squad and each time a road accident had put paid to him fulfilling the invitation.
Paul was signed from Halifax Town reserves, aged 34, by Alan Buckley for £10,000 as a short term replacement for Andy Tillson. He went on to be a fans favourite for 5 seasons, winning the Supporters Player of the Year twice in that time. Then his son Ben Futcher joined the club for their League Two play-off final season of 2005–06 before he left for Peterborough United.
Whilst Futcher was at Grimsby, he was probably man of the match in nearly every game he played from 1991 until 1994 - at times his performances were just astonishing to the Grimsby faithful. The end came after manager Alan Buckley moved to West Brom and Brian Laws was brought in. Futch was given only one chance under Laws against Oldham and played poorly, and was duly sent on his way. Futcher is one of Grimsby's all time legends.
Management & coaching
Paul led Rovers to the Dr. Martens Premier Division championship in 1997; unfortunately they were not promoted to the Conference because their ground failed to meet Conference standards.
The Sandgrounders narrowly lost to Cheltenham Town, and the remainder of the former Manchester City man's Haig Avenue tenure was blemished by successful relegation scraps.
Paul was unable to save the Robins from relegation to the Northern Premier League. He subsequently failed to motivate the squad (using nearly 50 players in 10 months) and left in December 2005.
Futcher's twin brother Ron played in the Football League as well as being a top scorer in the North American Soccer League; and their older brother Graham also played professionally at Chester City. Paul's son Ben has extensive Football League experience and he is the uncle of Danny Murphy. Paul is currently coaching both male and female academy sides at Huddersfield New College who has started the careers of players such as Zoe Barrett and Birmingham City striker Cameron Jerome.
As a player
As a player manager
- Southern League Premier Division winner: 1996–97
- Paul Futcher career stats at Soccerbase
- Paul Futcher management career stats at Soccerbase
- Gresley Rovers career details