Jack Butler (footballer, born 1894)

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For the Grimsby Town and Plymouth Argyle fullback, see Jack Butler (footballer born 1885).
Jack Butler
Personal information
Full name John Dennis Butler
Date of birth (1894-08-14)14 August 1894
Place of birth Colombo, Ceylon
Date of death 5 January 1961(1961-01-05) (aged 66)
Place of death London, UK
Height 5' 11"
Playing position Centre half
Youth career
Fulham Thursday
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1913–1914 Fulham 0 (0)
1914–1930 Arsenal 267 (7)
1930–1932 Torquay United 50 (2)
Total 317 (9)
National team
1924 England 1 (0)
Teams managed
1932–???? Royal Daring
1935-1939 Belgium
1946–1947 Torquay United
1947–1949 Crystal Palace
1953–1955 Colchester United

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

John Dennis "Jack" Butler (14 August 1894 – 5 January 1961) was an English footballer, who played in the Football League for Arsenal and Torquay United as a centre-half. He made one appearance for the England national team and went on to a career as a manager, with Torquay United, Crystal Palace and Colchester United in the League. He also managed Royal Daring of Belgium and coached the Belgium national team.

Football career[edit]

Born in Colombo (in what is now Sri Lanka) to English parents, Butler moved back to Britain as a child. He played for Dartford and Fulham Thursday as a youth, before signing for Fulham in 1913 and moving to Arsenal in 1914. He played in the Gunners' reserve side in his first season, before World War I intervened. Butler duly signed up for the Royal Artillery and served in France during the war, and returned to Arsenal after the end of hostilities. By then he had come of age, and with the resumption of first-class football, he made his first-team debut for the Gunners, against Bolton Wanderers on 15 November 1919.

A tall, elegant and clean player, Butler initially played as a traditional "centre half" — i.e. as a central, deep-lying midfielder; he was in competition with the Gunner's regular centre halves, Chris Buckley and Alex Graham, but by 1924-25, he was the undisputed first-choice centre half, playing in all but three games of the club's League campaign that season. He also won his first and only cap for England, against Belgium on 8 December 1924.

He made a total of 296 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 8 goals.[1]

Butler left Arsenal in the summer of 1930. In all he played 296 matches for the Gunners, scoring eight goals. He joined Torquay United, and stayed there for two seasons before becoming a coach at Belgian club Royal Daring, and was coach of the Belgian national side at the 1938 FIFA World Cup. He later had a spell as a trainer at Leicester City, and went on to manage Torquay United (1946–1947), Crystal Palace (1947–1949) and Colchester United (1953–1955).

He died in 1961, at the age of 66.


As a player[edit]



  1. ^ "Jack Butler: Profile". Arsenal. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  • George Allison (ed.) (1914). Arsenal Football Club Officialhandbook for Season 1914-15. Arsenal Football Club. N/A. 
  • Harris, Jeff & Hogg, Tony (ed.) (1995). Arsenal Who's Who. Independent UK Sports. ISBN 1-899429-03-4.