Doncaster Rovers v Scunthorpe United: The wheel turns full circle for Andy Butler

Andy Butler is set for his 200th Doncaster Rovers appearance today '“ 20 years after being rejected by his boyhood club.

Andy Butler: Set for 200th appearance.
Andy Butler: Set for 200th appearance.

The 35-year-old defender was shown the door by Rovers as a teenage schoolboy.

But he went on to enjoy a rewarding career after Scunthorpe United – ironically today’s opponents – gave him a second chance, followed by moves to Huddersfield Town and Walsall.

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It was only after an unhappy spell at Sheffield United did the chance come for Butler to return to Doncaster in 2014.

Since then, he has been a defensive lynchpin for Rovers under managers Paul Dickov, Darren Ferguson and now Grant McCann.

With McCann’s team seventh in League One, points are vital from this lunchtime’s 12.15pm early kick-off against Stuart McCall’s Iron.

“If selected, I can’t wait,” said Butler. “Especially against my old club Scunthorpe where I started.

“I’m looking forward to it. I look forward to every game but I suppose 200 games for a club isn’t bad after four-and-a-half years.

“I got told by Doncaster that I wouldn’t make it as a footballer, so Scunthorpe took a chance on me.

“To play for them, I never thought it would come about, I thought my chance had gone. It’s good for me, I’m a local boy who lives 10 minutes from the training ground.”

Today’s game – tagged the ‘M180 derby’ – is a special one for Butler, who made in excess of 150 appearances for Scunthorpe.

“These games are really good, my first career goal was for Scunthorpe against Doncaster,” he recalled. “Let’s see if I can get one (today) against Scunthorpe.

“They are a local derby, probably the closest one we have got. It means more to the fans to win this game.”

So what stands out for Butler – who has seen relegation and promotion with Rovers – since ending a nightmare spell at Bramall Lane in the summer of 2014? He failed to make a single league appearance for Nigel Clough’s Blades after moving from Walsall.

“Just signing here, because I was in a bad stage in my career and needed a fresh lease of life and Doncaster gave me that,” said Butler. “Paul Dickov brought me in and the club has been brilliant to me.”