Paul Futcher

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Paul Futcher
Personal information
Date of birth (1956-09-25) 25 September 1956 (age 58)
Place of birth Chester, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Centre Back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1972–1973 Chester 20 (0)
1974–1977 Luton Town 131 (1)
1978–1979 Manchester City 37 (0)
1980–1982 Oldham Athletic 98 (1)
1982–1983 Derby County 35 (0)
1983–1989 Barnsley 230 (0)
1990 Halifax Town 15 (0)
1991–1994 Grimsby Town 132 (0)
1994–1995 Dundalk ? (0)
1995 Droylsden ? (?)
1995–1997 Gresley Rovers ? (?)
1997–2000 Southport ? (?)
National team
1976–1978 England Under-21s 11 (0)
Teams managed
1995 Darlington
1995–1997 Gresley Rovers (player)
1997–2000 Southport (player)
2001–2002 Stalybridge Celtic
2005 Ashton United
* 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.

Playing career[edit]

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.[1]

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 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.[2]

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.

He later played for Dundalk where he played in UEFA Cup Qualifying Round against Malmo.

Management & coaching[edit]

Gresley Rovers[edit]

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.

Southport[edit]

The highlight of his two-and-a-half year stint with Southport was the club's FA Trophy final outing in 1998, where at 41; Futcher became the oldest player to appear in a competitive Wembley final.

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.

Ashton United[edit]

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.

Personal life[edit]

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.

Honours[edit]

As a player[edit]

Grimsby Town

As a player manager[edit]

Gresley Rovers

  • Southern League Premier Division winner: 1996–97

Southport

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul Futcher at Sporting-Heroes.net
  2. ^ Official Grimsby Town site Paul Futcher profile

External links[edit]