Tribute to Barry Butler - Mister Dependable

Words Brian Flynn

THE passing of Barry Butler, at just 62, has shocked and saddened Altrincham fans who watched him play for the Robins in the mid-1990s.

Barry succumbed to Alzheimer’s Dementia, receiving the same diagnosis as the former West Bromwich Albion and England striker, Jeff Astle, and spent the final years of his life in a nursing home.

Having come to prominence in The North West Counties League, playing for Atherton LR, it was at Chester that Barry played the majority of his career, having been signed by their legendary manager, Harry McNally, who also had a spell as Altrincham Reserves manager.

In eight seasons at Chester, he acquired legendary status for being the ultimate utility player, playing in almost every position, including goalkeeper.

Barry was part of the Chester side that were knocked out of the FA Cup by Alty in 1992 and after a spell at Barrow, arrived at Moss Lane in 1994.

He played the majority of his appearances for John King and Graham Heathcote at centre-half but was also an effective holding midfielder and played the destroyer role, alongside skipper, Mick Carmody, in the FA Cup 3rd Round defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in 1995.

Barry was a hugely dependable footballer, rarely grabbing the headlines, but performing with a remarkably high consistency level.

He was a tough, uncompromising, but very fair player and I’m struggling to remember a below par performance in his time with us.

Alty were Barry’s final club, his career ended in September of his third season with a double leg-break sustained in a 1-1 draw with Woking at Moss Lane, the season that the club ultimately suffered its first ever relegation.

A window cleaner, by trade, Barry was an uncomplicated man and footballer and was one of the guests on the panel that attended a celebration, 8 years ago, of that memorable FA Cup tie against Spurs in 1995.

Details of Barry’s funeral will be advised, once known and everyone at Altrincham Football Club wishes to offer sincere condolences to Barry’s family and friends at this sad and difficult time.

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