While the man in the iron mask was still eight years away from hitting our cinema screens, Terry Butcher was doing his best to be an action movie hero and will be famous for being the man who didn’t even need an iron mask on that night in Stockholm.
It was September 6th, 1989. England needed just a point to qualify for the 1990 World Cup in Italy, which is exactly what they got with a 0-0 draw, in no small part thanks to Terry Butcher in central defence.
Butcher suffered a head wound early in the game, which was hastily stitched up and bandaged by the physio’s only for Butcher to keep heading the ball away therefore reopening the wound. The sight of the all white England kit drenched completely in blood is a memory that will be remembered forever.
He helped England to the semi-finals and retired from international football shortly after. His first managerial role was a player-manager job at Coventry City. After a surprise sacking at the Sky Blues he went on to manage Sunderland, Motherwell and Inverness where he has recently signed a one year extension.
While guiding his team towards the Scottish First Division title, Butcher also takes time out to contribute a blog for the Daily Mirror online. He also once famously said “I have to share a technical area with him but that is it as far as I’m concerned” prior to Scotland’s game against Argentina. Butcher was obviously referring to a certain Diego Maradona who he is still angry with over the hand of God. Understandable you might say!
Still only 51, Butcher has time to become the manager his playing career deserves. Whether Inverness Cally Thistle will be the place that provides him with that chance is another question. You can be sure he’d go through a battle field to try though. Just ask the England kit man in 1989.