Doncaster Rovers: Andy Butler interview - My joy at hometown move and thoughts on life after football

Andy Butler
Andy Butler

From the terraces of Belle Vue, to the Keepmoat pitch.

It was a journey that Doncaster lad Andy Butler never expected to make.

“I remember it well being at Belle Vue and chanting ‘Zigga Zagga Zigga Zagga Doncaster,” Butler told the Free Press.

“I went to see Rovers plenty of times through school.

“And they’ve always been the team whose results I look for first on a Saturday.

“I’m really happy to be here, playing for my hometown club and hopefully helping them climb the table.”

The Balby-born defender last week signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Rovers after completing his switch from Sheffield United for a ‘nominal fee.’

His loan move and subsequent transfer ended a short but difficult spell with the Blades as he failed to establish himself in Nigel Clough’s plans.

But while having a brighter playing future ahead of him following his permanent switch, Butler is also delighted by the prospect of living down the road from his employing club.

He said: “Anyone who has a big commute knows how it affects your life.

“Now I can pick my son up from school where I wasn’t getting in until well after five when I was at Walsall.

“It makes a huge difference to your family life.

“And it’s also going to help me get set up for life after playing.

“I’m going to do a locksmith course, I’m going to do a few coaching courses and I really want to kick on with my refereeing.”

The 31-year-old has taken the unusual step of pursuing the life of a match official as he prepares for the end of his playing career.

He is a regular feature of games in the Doncaster and District Sunday Alliance League.

And he admits he has been recognised much more since he began playing in his hometown.

He said: “I’ve definitely had a bit more stick over the last couple of months, but thankfully it’s all been pretty good-natured.

“I really enjoy the refereeing. I’m being assessed as an assistant soon and hopefully I’ll move up to a level five official in the near future.”

As for now, Butler is pleased with how his time at Rovers so far has panned out.

And he is confident over a strong finish to the season.

He said: “We’re a really solid team right now and it’s shown with the results.

“I think the top six is definitely within reach and where this team should be.”