Thomas Butler (footballer)

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Thomas Butler
Personal information
Full name Thomas Anthony Butler[1]
Date of birth (1981-04-25) 25 April 1981 (age 33)
Place of birth Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[1]
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Belvedere
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2004 Sunderland 31 (0)
2000 Darlington (loan) 8 (0)
2004–2005 Dunfermline Athletic 12 (0)
2005–2006 Hartlepool United 37 (2)
2006–2012 Swansea City 126 (9)
Total 214 (11)
National team
1999–2000 Republic of Ireland U18 3 (0)
2002 Republic of Ireland U20 2 (0)
2001–2003 Republic of Ireland U21 13 (0)
2002 Republic of Ireland 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:22, 20 January 2012 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Thomas Anthony Butler (born 25 April 1981 in Dublin) is a former professional footballer who last played for Swansea City in the Premier League. He has played for the Republic of Ireland at under-21 and senior level.

Club career[edit]

Sunderland[edit]

Butler started his career at Sunderland, and as a youngster forged himself a reputation as one of the Republic of Ireland's brightest stars and he gained acclaim when he was named the Republic of Ireland's Under-15 Player of the Year in 1997. By the time he was 18, he had travelled to South Africa to play in the 1999 World Youth Cup for his country.[2] Butler was then signed to a professional contract by Peter Reid for Sunderland.

Shortly thereafter, Butler made his debut during Sunderland's 3–2 win over Walsall during the 1999/2000 season after coming on as a substitute. Butler was on the verge of breaking into the first team and was successful for the reserves. This earned him a chance to make his first league appearance after once again coming on as a substitute against West Ham. He would soon earn praise, being considered by some as the Irish version of Joe Cole.[3]

However, the following season saw Butler struggling to make an impact and he was loaned to Darlington to gain match practice.[4] His loan spell with Darlington would be extended for another month.[5] He made ten appearances for Darlington, but despite his popularity among the fans his loan move was not extended and Butler returned to Sunderland.[6] The following seasons saw Butler make just 17 starts and 12 substitute appearances. In a match against Charlton Athletic on 27 April 2002, Butler helped the club make a comeback just after Charlton scored, when he provided assist for Kevin Kilbane, which both side drew 2-2.[7] At the end of the 2001-02 season, Butler's future was in doubt upon the expiry of his contract.[8] However, on 1 August 2002, Butler signed a contract to keep him at Sunderland for three more years, until 2005.[9]

Despite the lack of games, Butler was called up the Republic of Ireland team by Mick McCarthy and made his senior international debut in the 3–0 win against Finland.[10] Following the retirement of Kevin Kilbane, Hartlepool Mail believed that Butler could be expected to become a first team regular.[11] During his last season at the club, Butler's season was disrupted by a knee injury he sustained in a 1-0 win over Sheffield United.[12] His injury would keep him out for a long time following an operation.[13]

Butler left Sunderland for unspecified personal reasons, returning to Ireland and stating his intention to leave professional football.[11][14] While Sunderland were initially sympathetic to his situation, he eventually threatened them with legal action for breach of contract.[15] On 2 July 2005, the dispute between Butler and the club were later settled just before the tribunal could happen.[16]

Dunfermline Athletic and Hartlepool United[edit]

Having reconsidered his future, Butler joined Dunfermline on trial, subsequently signing and making eight starts and six substitute appearances.[17] However, he wasn’t offered an extended contract and was forced to look elsewhere.[18]

In 2005, Butler then joined Hartlepool United on a short-term contract.[19] He made his debut against Blackpool. Butler made an impressive start to his Hartlepool career and scored his first professional goal in the 3–0 win against Swindon.[20] Butler then signed permanently for Hartlepool for 2005–06 season despite interests from two clubs.[21][22] In his first full season at Hartlepool United, Butler scored his first goal of the season when he "raced past two challenges to fire a shot which goalkeeper Mark Goodlad could only help into the net", as Harlepool United beat Port Vale 2-1 on 29 October 2005[23] Though he made twenty-eight appearance, the club were relegated to League Two after finishing twenty-first place. He was linked with a move to Bradford City, a claim that was denied by Colin Todd.[24]

Swansea City[edit]

July 2006 saw Butler signed for Swansea City following Hartlepool's relegation for an undisclosed fee.[25]

Butler made his debut for the club, in the opening game of the season, as Swansea City would lose Cheltenham Town 2-1.[26] He scored his first goal, which Swansea City scored two goals in the last minutes, as they beat Port Vale on 18 November 2006.[27] He then scored twice and won a penalty in Swansea's 3–0 win over Premiership side Sheffield United in the 2006–07 FA Cup third round tie at Bramall Lane.[28] In his first season, Butler made thirty-two appearance and scoring three goals in all competitions.

He started the 2007-08 season when he scored a brace, as Swansea City would beat Leyton Orient 5-0 on 6 October 2007.[29] Butler would score four goals against Southend United on 16 December 2007,[30] Swindon Town on 1 January 2008,[31] Crewe[32] and Luton Town.[33] At the end of the 2007-08 season, Butler signed a long term contract.[34]

In 2008-09 season, Butler made thirty-two appearance in all competitions and scoring once against Southampton, as well as providing assist, which Swansea City won 3-0 on 25 October 2008.[35] His 2008-09 season was disrupted with a hamstring injury[36] and despite not playing in the South Wales derby on 5 April 2009, Butler was sent-off after the final whistle when he was arguing with the official over the penalty decision to Cardiff City, allowing the to equalise.[37] After this, Butler was suspended for three match.[38]

Then in the 2009-10 season, Butler missed the first seven matches, due to a hernia injury[39] and made his return in mid-September 2009.[40] Butler scored his first goal of the season, as Swansea City beat Sheffield United on 26 September 2009.[41] At the end of the 2009-10 season, Butler signed a one-year contract with the club after they decided to trigger his extension.[42] Butler would made twenty-five appearance and scoring once.

However in 2010-11 season, under manager Brendan Rodgers, Butler yet to make an appearance under him and after an operation, Butler would be out for long time until 2011 with a thigh injury.[43] During the season, Butler had to go rehabilitation and even went to the specialist to sort out his injuries.[44]

In January 2012, Rodgers offered Butler (along with David Cotterill and Andrea Orlandi) to join Dutch side ADO Den Haag on loan as their first team is limited.[45] Swansea City announced on 20 January 2012 that Butler has been released from his contract by mutual consent, he signed a one year contract in August 2011, but never made an appearance for Swansea in the Premier League.[46][47]

Post Playing Career[edit]

After spending seven months searching for the club since being released, Butler call the end of his career, citing his persistent thigh injury.[48]

Honours[edit]

As a player[edit]

Sunderland

Swansea City

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hugman, Barry J. (ed) (2008). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2008–09. Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-84596-324-8. 
  2. ^ "IRISH PAIR STAR IN AFRICA". Sunderland Echo. 4 February 1999. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Butler can be the next Joe Cole". Hartlepool Mail. 27 February 2001. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "SUNDERLAND REJECT WAINWRIGHT BID". Sky Sports. October 2000. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Butler stays another month". The Northern Echo. 10 November 2010. Archived from the original on 30 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Football: Butler's return rocks Quakers". The Northern Echo. 15 December 2000. Archived from the original on 30 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "HIGHS AND A LOW". Sunderland Echo. 9 May 2002. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Black Cats Butler Hope". Sunderland Echo. 4 July 2002. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "New injury blow for Phillips". BBC Sport. 1 August 2002. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "McCarthy calls up Butler". BBC Sport. 19 August 2002. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Cats dispense with services of Butler". Hartlepool Mail. 28 July 2004. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "BUTLER SWEATS ON OP VERDICT". Sunderland Echo. 1 November 2003. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "BUTLER OUT UNTIL CHRISTMAS". Sunderland Echo. 6 November 2003. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "Swansea hero Butler on the rise". BBC Sport. 7 January 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Butler slates fans". Sunderland Echo. 22 October 2004. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Butler settles SAFC dispute". Sunderland Echo. 2 July 2005. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Pars take Butler gamble". BBC Sport. 10 September 2004. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "Butler and Bradley leaving Pars". BBC Sport. 6 January 2005. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "Double take". Hartlepool Mail. 24 March 2005. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "Hartlepool United 3-0 Swindon Town". BBC Sport. 2 April 2005. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Season starts here". Hartlepool Mail. 1 July 2005. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Race hots up to hire Butler". Hartlepool Mail. 1 July 2005. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  23. ^ "Port Vale 1-2 Hartlepool United". BBC Sport. 29 October 2005. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  24. ^ "Bantams boss rejects Butler talk". BBC Sport. 26 May 2006. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  25. ^ "Swans sign Butler from Hartlepool". BBC Sport. 28 July 2006. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "Swansea City 1-2 Cheltenham Town". BBC Sport. 8 August 2006. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  27. ^ "Port Vale 0-2 Swansea City". BBC Sport. 18 November 2006. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  28. ^ "FA Cup Third Round Sheffield United 0-3 Swansea City". BBC Sport. 6 January 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  29. ^ "Leyton Orient 0-5 Swansea City". BBC Sport. 6 October 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  30. ^ "Swansea City 3-0 Southend United". BBC Sport. 16 November 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  31. ^ "Swindon Town 1-1 Swansea City". BBC Sport. 1 January 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  32. ^ "Swansea City 2-1 Crewe". BBC Sport. 22 January 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  33. ^ "Swansea City extend advantage". Sky Sports. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  34. ^ "Butler sticks with Swans". Sky Sports. 10 May 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  35. ^ "Swansea City 3-0 Southampton". BBC Sport. 25 October 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  36. ^ "Butler blow adds to concerns for Swans boss". Wles Online. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  37. ^ "Cardiff City 2-2 Swansea City". BBC Sport. 5 April 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  38. ^ "Swansea's Tom Butler sent off after final whistle". Wales Online. 5 April 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  39. ^ "Rangel set to start for Swans". Wales Online. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  40. ^ "Returning Butler hands Swans boss Sousa food for thought". Wales Online. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  41. ^ "Blades cut to size by sharp Swans". Wales Online. 26 September 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  42. ^ "Butler earns new Swansea City deal". Sky Sports. 24 April 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  43. ^ "Long lay-off for Butler". Sky Sports. 8 September 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  44. ^ "Tom Butler ready to put Swansea injury nightmare behind him". Wales Online. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  45. ^ "Swansea offer trio on loan to Den Haag". 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  46. ^ "Tom Butler handed one-year Swansea City extension". BBC Sport. 16 August 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  47. ^ "Swans agree to release duo". Sky Sports. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  48. ^ "Former Swansea City star Tom Butler forced to call time on career". South Wales Evening Post. 14 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 

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