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Nicholas "Nicky" Butt (born 21 January 1975) is an Englishmarker football who currently plays for Newcastle United. Butt is primarily a defensive midfielder, and a former England international.

Club career

Manchester United

Born in Gortonmarker, Greater Manchestermarker, Butt began his career at Manchester United as an important part of their youth team before turning professional in 1993.

He made his first-team debut in the 1992–93 season, but didn't get his big break in the team until the 1994–95 season. With the departure of Paul Ince to Internazionale in the 1995 close season, manager Alex Ferguson chose to draft in Butt as Ince's successor in midfield alongside Roy Keane.

When striker Paul Scholes developed into a midfielder around the end of the 1990s, Butt's first-team chances started to become limited, but he still collected many honours.

By the time of his departure from Old Traffordmarker, Butt had gained five Premier League title winner's medals, three FA Cup winner's medals and a European Cup winner's medal. He had also collected an FA Cup runners-up medal in 1995.

Newcastle United

Butt handed in a transfer request in January 2004, but turned down a proposed move to Birmingham City during the January transfer window. He was signed by Bobby Robson for Newcastle United in July 2004 for a fee of £2.5 million on a four year deal, where he was seen as a replacement for the veteran Gary Speed, who had moved to Bolton Wanderers.

Butt had a disappointing and injury-marred 2004–05 season, prompting the then Newcastle manager Graeme Souness to sign Senegalesemarker midfielder Amdy Faye in January 2005. Despite a promising start, the fans turned on Butt after the 4–1 defeat against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final, in which he showed little effort and, according to some fans, assisted his former team to victory. The acquisition of Scott Parker and Emre in the summer of 2005 pushed Butt further down the pecking order, and his move to Birmingham City (managed by former Manchester United team-mate Steve Bruce) on a season-long loan was announced on 3 August 2005.

Nicky Butt playing for Newcastle in 2008.
However, on 13 February 2006, Butt walked out on his manager and former Manchester United team mate Steve Bruce, after finding out Bruce placed his son Alex Bruce in the squad ahead of himself, and was later fined two weeks wages, which was £80,000 (€115,800). After Birmingham were relegated from the Premier League, Butt returned to Newcastle who were being managed by Glenn Roeder.

Although not an instant fan favourite at St. James' Parkmarker, Butt won over some fans with two goals scored through headers in a pre-season friendly against Villarreal CF. There was some speculation that newly-appointed Sunderland manager Roy Keane would try to sign his former Manchester United midfield partner. However, due to the lack of back-up midfielders at Newcastle and his good pre-season form, Butt remained at Newcastle.

During the 2006–07 season, Butt was much more involved in the first team at Newcastle, playing in the holding role which allowed the likes of Parker and Emre to go forward. On 14 January 2007, Butt scored his first Newcastle goal in over 2 years when he scored the winner against Tottenham Hotspur in a 3–2 victory at White Hart Lanemarker. Butt's return to form was encapsulated when he captained Newcastle in a UEFA Cup match against Zulte Waregem on 16 February when Parker was injured. His good form that season continued, as on 9 April, Butt won the man of the match award for his performance against Arsenal. He continued to captain Newcastle whenever Parker was injured, and by the end of the season it was widely considered that he had won over the Newcastle fans.

With Parker having moved to West Ham United, Butt continued to play a big part in Newcastle's 2007–08 campaign. On 21 December, he penned a new contract keeping him at the club until the end of next season. After being an almost ever-present in that season, he expressed a desire to finish his career with Newcastle.Butt became a fan favorite in the 2007-08 season scoring three goals and making some very impressive performances.Butt also started the season as captain filling in for the injured Michael Owen and proved to be a popular choice. Butt played his 100th league game for Newcastle on 21 December 2008, marking it with a 2–1 home win against Tottenham.

International career

He won his first England cap during the 1996–97 season against Mexico and became a squad regular, providing reliable backup for the central midfield positions. An injury to first choice midfielder Steven Gerrard before the 2002 FIFA World Cup gave Butt his chance in the starting line-up alongside Manchester United teammates David Beckham and Paul Scholes. He was named "the best player in the tournament" by Brazilian legend Pelé, a compliment to his performance in the unattractive holding role.

After the World Cup he returned to his role as a squad player, providing experienced cover for the first-choice midfield pairing of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. He was selected for the 2004 European Championships but missed the tournament through injury. His most recent international appearance was in a friendly against Spain on 17 November 2004. In total he has appeared 39 times for England.

Career statistics

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Honours

Club

Manchester United


Newcastle United


References

  1. "Brazilian legend Pele tells the BBC's Clive Myrie that the man Brazil most fears is Nicky Butt" (video clip), BBC Sport, 20 June 2002, retrieved 2 December 2006


External links



1992-93 Manchester United Premier League 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1993-94 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1994-95 22 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 22 1
1995-96 32 2 7 1 0 0 2 0 41 3
1996-97 26 5 0 0 0 0 9 0 35 5
1997-98 33 3 1 0 0 0 7 0 41 3
1998-99 31 2 5 0 2 0 8 0 46 2
1999-00 32 3 0 0 0 0 6 0 38 3
2000-01 28 3 2 0 0 0 11 1 41 4
2001-02 25 1 2 0 0 0 9 0 36 1
2002-03 18 0 2 0 1 0 8 0 29 0
2003-04 21 1 5 0 2 0 5 1 33 2
2004-05 Newcastle United Premier League 18 1 2 0 1 0 7 0 28 1
2005-06 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0
2005-06 Birmingham City Premier League 24 3 2 0 3 0 0 0 29 3
2006-07 Newcastle United Premier League 31 1 2 0 2 0 12 0 47 1
2007-08 35 3 2 0 2 0 0 0 39 3
2008-09 32 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 36 0
2009-10 Championship 6 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 7 0

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