Keith Oakes remembers the day Gary Simpson made his case for Richard who soon became known as Butch.  Gary new the imps had a tight budget Keith was always eager to unearth a gem. He had just been to see Halifax v Kettering 4-0 Richard was on the loosing side but he continued to go box to box though out the 90 minutes he was a tall six footer and was certainly worth a gamble.  

Richard turned out to be one of the great signings that Keith Alexander took  under his wing his personality fitted the bill not to mention his feet and being six foot tall dark hair and having a lovely Chinese tattoo on his arm I can  explain the oriental lettering. "When Richard first had his tattoo done I was a bit mad with him but he was so proud of what it stood for, it meant family, something he said was even closer to his heart. And that's what Keith was a loving family man our son sore that in Keith the moment he met him a little bit about Keith Alexander he was a footballer and manager. He was the manager of League Two side Macclesfield Town at the time of his death, in a career that included international appearances for Saint Lucia. Alexander played for a whole host of lower league football teams. His main success, however, came from football management managing in both Non-League and the Football League He took League Two side Lincoln City, to four consecutive play-offs, taking them to two finals at the Millennium Stadium "His eldest son, Matt is a FIFA licensed Football agent and works with many top flight players. He was the first full-time black professional manager in the Football League, and is considered by many to be a pioneer of the modern game. Richard thought the world of Keith Alexander and he was highly respected by our family.

Richard openly said to the Lincolnshire Echo in 2002 when first joining the imps. Play-Off place is possible says Sincil Bank newcomer Richard Butcher who would believe "it" he couldn't have been further from the truth at the time when he said this when he joined the imps in 2002.  He completed his transfer from the conference side Kettering Town he spoke to Keith Alexander and "Basically Keith said what you see is what you get, and he told Richard straight what he expected from him after training with the lads just twice.  Our sons words were "I've already noticed the team spirit - there's loads of banter, no-one is down, everyone is chirpy and I think we will get to the play-offs-I know it's a bit early to say things like that, but from what I've seen so far I think we will.

Our son hated being away from football once his summer holiday was over he couldn't wait to get back and for pre- season training to  start. "He was always impressed with the approach to pre season training he would be fitter than the season before he was always motivated by the great atmosphere the players and Keith Alexander and Gary Simpson promoted at the club. He always wanted to learn and earn his place. Every player had a chance to play, there was always a healthy bond shown amongst the player and management team.

Gary Simpson what a great assistant manager he always had the ability to get the best out of his players specially our son he would always show great faith in Richard and was a genuine person he always new what buttons to press to get the players going. Gary said the kid was a scorer and Butch had a trademark and a great strike and a spectacular finish. 

Richard has played every minute of every game for the Imps this season and his action ended at the Millennium Stadium he chalked up a total of 122 appearances for Lincoln City since joining from Kettering in the 2002/2003 season,.

2003/2004 one goal will live in memory for the Lincoln fan's a mammoth 35 yard effort against Mansfield Town just before Christmas in 2003. That was just one of the 12 stunning goals Richard scored for the Imps.

 Richard played 26,919 precious professional minutes as a box to box midfielder he played 40 - 50 games per season his natural fitness allowed him to cover every blade of grass he was a hero to some his goals were vital the fan's applauded him he was a six footer healthy young man which makes it harder to understand why.  

Richard covered more ground than most players would in a game covering 8 miles (13 - 14 ) kilometres' per match and speeds up to 14-21kmh. He showed constancy through out his career he always prided himself on his goals bend it like Beckham just one of the players he so admired.





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)







Following the shocking death of Richard Butcher on Monday morning, I look back at some of my favourite memories of Butcher's playing days for Lincoln City and the instances where I met him personally.       

During my ten years as a season ticket holder at Sincil Bank, I have seldom had a clear stand out favourite player. It takes a lot to get me to have a favourite player and to be honest, only four come to mind. Justin Walker was an exciting midfielder when I first attended Sincil Bank on a regular basis, Lee Frecklington was a class above in terms of quality and Jamie Forrester was the most intelligent footballer I have seen in that time, but none were as hard working on the pitch as Richard Butcher.

Despite the controversial style of him joining the Imps, it was evident almost immediately that he was the perfect fit for the team at the time. Butcher's effort was always a class above, he was always the fittest player on the pitch and the passion he played with was more than anyone else I have seen in my ten years.

Butcher made his debut in a 2-1 home defeat to Rushden and Diamonds and it took just over a month for his first goal to come, a thumping effort against Shrewsbury, unfortunately it wasn't even to win the game. His goal in the penultimate game against Bournemouth and setting up the goal that secured the club's first ever Playoff campaign a week later saw him truly become a fans favourite.

During his time at Lincoln, Butcher might not have been a great scorer of goals but rather a scorer of great goals. You'd very rarely find a goal from Richard Butcher that wouldn't be a contender for goal of the season. His rocket at Mansfield from 40 yards in December 2003 is, to this day, one of my personal favourite ever goals for the Imps and to be honest, if I was to list my ten favourite City goals, he would feature at least three times.

A move to Oldham followed at the end of the 2004/5 season. He was oButcher at Huddersfieldne of those that left in the mass-exodus, but unlike most, he moved up the leagues, with Oldham in League One at the time. His time there was far from happy though and he quickly returned to City, again scoring a beautiful half-volley against Leyton Orient. He would return to Oldham but never established himself and he would become one of the numerous Imps to play at Peterborough in 2006/7 under Keith Alexander.

To show the fans love for him, he was the only former Lincoln player not to be booed when over 2,000 Imps made the Christmas trip to Peterborough. That side was full of players who had been heavily involved in the Playoff campaigns up to that point, so to say that he was the only one who wasn't booed was a credit to him. A move to Notts County a year later saw the strange occurance of him averaging a goal every four games, a brilliant feat for a midfielder, only to be seemingly not liked by the Notts County fans.

After he was released at the end of the 2008/9 season, he became one of Peter Jackson's final signings, penning a one year contract to become one of just two Imps this millennium to have three spells with the Imps. Despite a good run in the first team, he struggled to live up to the previous form and it came as little surprise when he was dropped as soon as Sutton arrived. He was released at the end of last season, although he did have a loan spell at Macclesfield in between, a club whom he joined permanently at the end of last season.

Whilst he wasn't on the pitch, Butcher was a very approachable man. I remember one time in August 2003 when I ran into him at Tesco's near Sincil Bank. He had just scored a brilliant goal against York and we got into a near half an hour conversation and I genuinely don't think he knew just how good he could have been.

Once again, we send our sympathies to the whole of the Butcher family an all close friends of Richard's.