Andy Butler leaves Doncaster Rovers by mutual consent
Andy Butler has left Doncaster Rovers by mutual consent, it has been confirmed.
The centre half is expected to join up with another club in the coming days as he seeks to continue with his playing career after his contract was cancelled.
Butler will also continue to manage the Belles under the Club Doncaster umbrella.
A departure for the 37-year-old has appeared likely since before the start of pre-season.
Rovers boss Richie Wellens had made no secret that he saw Tom Anderson and Ro-Shaun Williams as his primary centre back pairing and said publicly that Butler would have to accept his game time being limited.
Also, after an initial wave of signings, Wellens has been clear that he would need to move players on in order to bring others in this summer.
It is understood that Butler was not involved in the main pre-season training sessions with the bulk of the senior squad.
Butler’s departure brings to an end his second stint as a senior player at the club after rejoining Rovers last summer.
Having waited until November for his first appearance of the campaign, he made 23 starts last term - adding to the 222 appearances he made in his previous spell which ran from 2014 to 2019.
Butler stepped up to take charge of Rovers for two matches last season when the senior coaching staff were forced into self-isolation due to contact with a positive case of Covid-19.
He then took the reins at the start of March when Darren Moore departed for Sheffield Wednesday, taking charge of the final 18 matches, which brought just four wins as Rovers’ decline in the second half of the season continued.
In confirming Butler’s departure, a statement from Rovers read: “[He] has had a huge and positive impact on the football club across his two spells whether that be due to his extensive community work, his leadership skills on and off the field or his memorable goals and defensive interventions.
“Butler has embodied the Club Doncaster ethos supporting Club Doncaster Foundation’s Fit Rovers project, coaching in the Academy and taking over the reins as Doncaster Rovers Belles manager leading to an upturn in results and performances.”