Richard had knuckled down once again and joined Kettering Town and became an important member of the "Poppies" squad which secured the 2001/02 Southern League Premier Division title. Carl shut was going to be the right manager for Richard many found it hard to believe that he could not get into the Rushden & Diamonds side, He was frustrated that Brian Talbot who was stating he would be the  next big thing but if Richard wanted to get on with his career he would have to drop to the southern league this all brought back  memories from Northampton Town after being released Richard talked this over with a number of players and they said sometimes you have to drop to get your career of the ground again. Our son just wanted to play football and be happy with him self and all we wanted as a mum and dad is for Our son to get on in life in his chosen career.  There were some great footballers at Kettering Richard was a tall 6ft lad long legs and a great smile he could also run for miles. Some say He was the legs Kettering needed but Kettering was a great side you still have to earn your place and the respect from your manager and team mates. He would always want to give a 100% for his manager and team he was honest hard working and wore his heart on his sleeve. 

Manager Carl Shutt was an English former professional football player. His league career started at the relatively late age of 23. He was spotted by Howard Wilkinson while playing for Spalding United and enjoyed two relatively successful seasons with Sheffield Wednesday. With the manager leaving for pastures new, Carl joined Bristol City and again had two relatively successful seasons. It wasn't long before Wilkinson recalled him and arranged to swap Bob Taylor and £50,000 to get his man again, right on cue for Leeds United's push to promotion.

Our son knew you can never expect to walk straight into a side but then Richard never did at any club he played for the players and manager at Kettering Town would pave the way for his future career they would help build his confidence back up after having so many nocks.   You can't beat a good family atmosphere it was a great club for all of us as a family and we really enjoyed our time at Kettering Town, it was like going from home to home with great fan's great people. Richard made some fantastic friend's and was playing for a team who all played for each other. The bond and love of football these players had together was electric. There are too many names to mention because our son loved them all and so did we. His nickname at Kettering town was Ricky Butcher the Girls screamed for his autograph when the bus travelled through Kettering town to celebrate at the end of the season. Our son never minded being called Ricky with his little blonde touch at the front of his hair." Kettering town and manger Carl shutt was one of the most important people in Richard's life. Carl shutt had a great personality and the experience certainly to help him follow his dream lee Howarth also played a massive part in our son's career.  Richard made over 341 appearances and ended up scoring 54 Goals in his career thirteen of them for Kettering Town not bad for a midfielder. 

Manager Carl shutt finished the season with a double celebration the Kettering Town boss was named the Dr Martens southern league manger of the year he also picked up the premier Davison's final monthly award following his championship-clinching 2-1 win at Tiverton the Poppies squad had an open top bus trip round the town from the Rockingham Road ground to the council 2,000 fans lined the streets and there was a great presentation night to follow with 300 quests. Wayne Duke was named as the Concorde Printers player of the year while Richard Butcher took the Executive Members and supporters player of the year award and Sean Murray was voted the Player's player of the year and Dale Watkins took top scorer After the bus had travelled through the Town the Bus then travelled back to Rockingham Road where the fan's packed the main stand to see club and team captain Lee Howarth and Darren Collins hold the shield over their heads while the rest of the team collected their medals shutt paid tribute to Richard he said he has been a revelation this season and that has been recognised by the awards which he fully deserves it was nice to see the young supporters have spotted what a great talent he has." "The reception to the players and my self was magnificent and it was a fitting end to the season. Mr Peter Mallinger said; I have been a chairman of this club for 9 years and it's the first time we have won anything major Richard was so proud to be apart of a great season at Kettering Town he got to know Mr Peter Mallinger very well he was such a great person who really cared allot for Kettering Town who will always be remembered.

1999–2000Northampton Town0(0)
2000–2001Rushden & Diamonds0(0)
2001–2002Kettering Town44(13)
2002–2005Lincoln City104(11)
2005–2006Oldham Athletic36(4)
2005Lincoln City (loan)4(1)
2006–2007Peterborough United43(4)
2007–2009Notts County80(18)
2009–2010Lincoln City15(0)
2010Macclesfield Town (loan)8(2)
2010–2011Macclesfield Town7(1)



           One of the nicest guys you will meet           

Kettering Town legend Craig Norman has paid an emotional tribute to former team-mate Richard Butcher following his tragic death.

Butcher, who had been playing for Macclesfield Town in npower League Two, passed away at his home in Manchester overnight on Sunday at the age of just 29.

His football journey started in Northamptonshire and his career took off when he left Rushden & Diamonds, where he didn't make a first-team appearance, to join Carl Shutt's Kettering side in October 2001.

He went on to make a massive impact at Rockingham Road and scored a number of crucial goals as Shutt's team claimed the Southern League Premier Division title thanks a dramatic final-day win at Tiverton Town.

Butcher left Kettering for Lincoln City during the following season having scored 14 goals in 58 appearances and he went on to forge a solid career in the Football League with the Imps and Notts County.

Norman was also a key player in that famous Poppies team and he struggled to find the words to describe his former team-mate.

"I was, like everyone else, shocked when I heard and I am still in shock now," Norman said.

"Butch was the sort of player who would get goals and he had a great engine. He was a box-to-box midfielder who would have been a nightmare to mark.

"That was obviously a great season but that was mainly because it was a good bunch of lads and Butch was a big part of that.

"I spoke to Lee Howarth on Monday night and we will certainly be paying our respects when the time comes and I am sure the other boys will do that as well.

"I just can't believe what has happened and my heart goes out to his family.

"They were the nicest people you could ever want to meet.

"We spoke to his mum on New Year's Eve because we are still close and they doted on him. It's tragic.

"I can't speak highly enough of him as a footballer and as a man.

"I know people say the same things when something like this happens but Butch was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.

"In fact, he was probably too nice at times!

"But there was never any doubt in my mind that he would go on and have a good career.

"He was the complete player and this loss is going to take a long time to get over."

Butcher's untimely death has made it a devastating start to the new year for Kettering fans after their former chairman Peter Mallinger, who was at the helm at Corby Town, died last Friday.

The Poppies will hold a minute's silence to remember both of them before their next home game against Eastbourne Borough a week on Saturday.