Tom Butler (footballer)

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Tom Butler
Personal information
Full name Thomas Butler
Place of birth Darlaston, England
Date of death 11 November 1923(1923-11-11)
Place of death Hackney, England
Playing position Inside-left
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1921–1922 Walsall 28 (12)
1922 Darlaston
1922–1923 Port Vale 32 (11)
Total 60 (23)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Thomas Butler (died 11 November 1923) was an English footballer who played as an inside-left. He played 60 league games in the Football League, scoring 23 goals. He played for non-league Willenhall, before spending the 1921–22 season at Walsall. He joined Port Vale via Darlaston in December 1922. He broke his arm in a game on 3 November 1923, and died eight days later from a subsequent tetanus infection.

Playing career[edit]

Butler started his career at Birmingham & District League side Willenhall, before joining Walsall in 1921.[1] He played 28 Third Division North games for the "Saddlers" in 1921–22, scoring 12 goals. He then returned to semi-professional football with Darlaston.

He had a one-month trial at Second Division Port Vale in December 1922, and manager Joe Schofield signed him permanently for £100 the following month. Butler was a huge success in the 1922–23 season, becoming top scorer with nine goals in 26 games. At the end of the season he played in a defeat to local rivals Stoke in the North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup.

He started 1923–24 by scoring in a defeat to Stoke at The Old Recreation Ground. However, after scoring in a 1–1 draw with Clapton Orient on 3 November he suffered a compound fracture of the left arm; he died from tetanus (also called lockjaw) eight days later in Hackney Hospital after complications had set in.[2]


  • Sourced from Tom Butler profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
Club Season Division League FA Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Walsall 1921–22 Third Division North 28 12 6 3 34 15
Port Vale 1922–23 Second Division 25 9 0 0 25 9
1923–24 Second Division 7 2 0 0 7 2
Total 32 11 0 0 32 11


with Port Vale
  • North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup winner: 1923


  1. ^ Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: Tony Brown. p. 45. ISBN 1-899468-67-6. 
  2. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 49. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.