SINCE leaving Barnsley in the summer of 2012, visits to Oakwell have not been kind to former Reds captain Jacob Butterfield.
The Bradfordian, 29, who returns to his old club with Luton Town tomorrow, has lost there in the colours of Middlesbrough and Derby County.
His last home appearance as a Reds player was also tainted by bad memories, with a controversial tackle from ex-Leeds United midfielder Michael Brown on New Year’s Eve 2011 infamously ruling him out for the rest of the campaign ahead of his move to Norwich City in July.
Butterfield told The Yorkshire Post: “I do not have a great record there and I will be aiming to put that right on Saturday.
“I remember my last game there when I got my injury. That was a time when I was really flying and playing great football and had a lot of Premier League clubs going to watch me as I was a young lad who was the captain of a Championship club.
“We were having a great season and that injury just stopped that in its tracks.
“Barnsley was where I made my name in proper football. I remember coming on at 17 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, which was amazing and the stand-out was when I captained the team at a young age at 21 in my final season and made a bit of a name for myself.
“Ronnie Branson and Dave Hancock gave me my chance in the youth team and Simon Davey, then involved in the academy, gave me good opportunities.
“People say your talent will take you through, but you also need people who see it and will give you the opportunities. I am thankful to those who looked out for me along the way.
“I still keep in touch with (academy coaches) Bobby Hassell and Martin Devaney. I think a lot of players who play there really enjoy it, get a good feel for it and want to stay there and be involved and finish their careers and that speaks volumes about the type of club that it is.”
Tomorrow’s game is Butterfield’s second successive appointment against a former club in Yorkshire, having faced Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday – with another match against another old team in Huddersfield pencilled in for next weekend on home soil.
Reds striker George Miller has joined Scunthorpe United on a season-long loan.