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Terence Ian "Terry" Butcher (born 28 December 1958 in Singaporemarker) is a former Englishmarker football player and current manager of Scottish First Division side Inverness Caledonian Thistle. He was also the assistant manager to Scotland.

Formerly a professional player, he made his name as an uncompromising defender with Ipswich Town and Rangers in the 1980s. He was also a captain of England and won 77 caps in a ten-year international career.

Playing career

Ipswich Town

Although he was born in Singaporemarker, he spent his childhood in Lowestoftmarker, Suffolk, where he attended The Denes High Schoolmarker and met his wife Rita. He famously turned down the chance to join Norwich City youth team, as like his father he was a fan of Ipswich Town - Norwich's fiercest rivals.

Butcher made his debut for Ipswich in 1976 and over the next eight seasons would establish himself as the club's top central defender, combining leadership with great aerial ability and amazing courage. This was soon noticed by England manager Ron Greenwood who gave him his debut in a friendly against Australia in 1980.

In 1981, Butcher was part of the Ipswich side that won the UEFA Cup under Bobby Robson (later Sir) and came close to their first League title since 1962, though they were pipped at the post by Aston Villa.


In 1986, Butcher left Ipswich when they were relegated, and became one of the first 'English invasion' players to join Scottish club Rangers. As captain, he led them to three League titles in four seasons, plus two Scottish League Cups. In 1987 he suffered a broken leg.

International career

Butcher's impressive performances for Ipswich were noticed by England manager Ron Greenwood who gave him his debut in a friendly against Australia in 1980.

In 1982, Butcher was the youngest member of the back four which featured at the World Cup in Spain. He remained England's first choice centre back for the rest of the decade, playing in the 1986 World Cup, infamously trying to tackle Diego Maradona with some desperation as the Argentina skipper slotted in his wondrous second goal in the quarter-final, which England lost 2-1.

A broken leg meant that Butcher was not in the England side which was torn apart in all three group games at the 1988 European Championship, and his absence proved crucial as Robson was forced to rely on an inexperienced defensive partnership of Tony Adams and Mark Wright. Then, on 6 September 1989, while playing for England in a vital World Cup qualifier in Sweden, Butcher suffered a deep cut to his forehead early in the game. Butcher had some impromptu stitches inserted by the physiotherapist and, swathed in bandages, continued playing. His constant heading of the ball - unavoidable when playing in the centre of defence - disintegrated the bandages and reopened the cut to the extent that his white England shirt was entirely red by the end of the game[83529]. This match remains his defining moment as one of England's great footballing heroes, especially as England got the draw they needed to qualify for the 1990 competition, and is often used when referencing Butcher even today.

England made the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup with Butcher at the helm of a slightly more cautious back five (Butcher with Wright and Des Walker in the centre, plus full backs Stuart Pearce and - initially - Gary Stevens, later Paul Parker); he also took over the captaincy after an injury ended Bryan Robson's tournament prematurely. A memorable image of the contest was of Butcher and team-mate Chris Waddle dancing with triumph in front of the England supporters after beating Belgium in the second round. A photograph of this was later placed on a T-shirt range under the heading 'Let's All Have A Disco'.

Managerial and coaching career

After the World Cup, Butcher quit international football with 77 caps and three goals to his name. He left Rangers on 15 November 1990 to become player-manager of Coventry City (as successor to John Sillett), at one month short of 32 he was the youngest manager in the Football League on his appointment.

Under Sillett, Coventry had won the FA Cup in 1987 and finished as high as seventh in the First Division in 1989, and a dismal start to the 1990-91 season had seen Coventry fall back into the relegation battle that had been all too familiar occurrence at Highfield Roadmarker since Coventry first reached the top flight in 1967. With Butcher's appointment as manager, Coventry were intent on returning to their winning ways.

The early signs were promising. Butcher steered Coventry to 16th place and safety in 1990-91, and they entered 1992 in a secure 13th place, so it was something of a surprise on 6 January 1992 when Butcher was sacked as manager.

His successor Don Howe guided Coventry to safety and booked them a place in the new Premier League.

Butcher had played six league games for Coventry in the 1990-91 season before announcing his retirement as a player.

It was to be 13 months before Butcher returned to football, when in February 1993 he was named manager of Sunderland, re-registering himself as a player, some two years after his last game. He achieved survival at the end of the 1992-93 season, but was sacked the following December with Sunderland still struggling at the wrong end of Division One.

Surprisingly, Butcher agreed a short term contract at Clydebank FC making his debut at East End Park against Dunfermline. Sadly, he was not match fit and looked totally out of place in the Bankies defence. The experiment was cut short after just 3 unsuccessful appearances.

In October 2001, he became assistant to Eric Black at Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League, taking over from Black a year later as the club was forced to deal with severe financial difficulties, which have since largely abated and Butcher has been praised by the club's supporters and media for his performance under those difficult circumstances. Motherwell reached the 2005 Scottish League Cup final, where his old team Rangers defeated them 5-1.

After being linked with a possible move to Sydney FC for several weeks, he was announced as their new head coach on 17 May 2006, signing a two-year contract. On 7 February 2007, Terry Butcher was sacked by Sydney FC after being knocked out of the finals series with a 3-2 aggregate loss to the Newcastle Jets.

On 30 March 2007, he was appointed as assistant coach at Partick Thistle. However, this was to be a short lived appointment as he became the manager of Brentford on 24 April 2007 (he officially took up the role on 7 May 2007).

After a poor run of results, including only 5 wins in 23 matches, and under increasing pressure from the fans who had been chanting the name of former boss Martin Allen, he left Brentford on 11 December 2007. He is currently Scotland's assistant manager having been appointed on 4 February 2008 [83530]

On 27 January 2009, Butcher was announced as the new manager of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Butcher signed an 18 month contract.

In May 2009, Inverness were relegated from the Scottish Premier League.

In November 2009 George Burley got sacked from Scotland so Terry left on mutael consent

Other activities

While living in Suffolk Butcher had a chain of insurance brokers which were later acquired by the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society.Butcher can be frequently heard as a summariser, usually at England matches, on BBC Radio Five Live and occasional UEFA Cup matches on Five. He often appeared as a pundit on Setanta Sports' SPL coverage. Butcher also worked for BBC Sport during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, after which he fully recommenced his work with Sydney FC (i.e. from 10 July 2006). He was also used as an in game commentator in the first Pro Evolution Soccer video game, and the Nintendo 64 game International Superstar Soccer 2000, along with main commentator Chris James.

Butcher has consistently raised concerns over the sum impact of David Beckham's performances for and involvement with the England national football team, most notably during discussions concerning team and squad selection questions for the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008 qualification campaign.

Career statistics


  1. Butcher unrepentant over Beckham, BBC Sport, 26 June 2006, Retrieved on 23 November 2007
  2. Butcher backs Beckham exclusion, BBC Sport, 3 October 2006, Retrieved on 23 November 2007

External links

1977–78 Ipswich Town First Division 3 0
1978–79 21 2
1979–80 36 2
1980–81 40 4
1981–82 27 1
1982–83 42 0
1983–84 34 1
1984–85 42 2
1985–86 27 4

1986–87 Rangers Premier Division 43 3
1987–88 11 1
1988–89 34 2
1989–90 34 3
1990–91 5 0

1990–91 Coventry City First Division 6 0
1991–92 0 0
1992–93 Sunderland First Division 38 0

1993–94 Clydebank First Division 3 0

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