Cup tie referee was with us on a special day in May 2000

Last updated : 26 January 2002 By Tony Scholes

The 45 year-old referee from Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire is now in his eighth season as a Football League referee and this won't be his first Burnley game this season having already refereed our 1-0 defeat at West Brom.

So far this season Butler has issued 59 yellow cards in 22 games and he can also add 4 red cards to that. In fact the red cards have all come in his last three league games and all since Christmas.

In the Division Three game between Oxford United and Halifax Town he sent off both Jamie Wood and Paul Stoneman after which Oxford strolled to a 6-1 win. A fortnight ago Port Vale's Sagi Burton saw red in a 2-1 home win against Brentford and last Saturday it was the turn of York's Chris Smith, sent off in a 3-0 defeat at Rushden & Diamonds.

An away player is more likely to receive a card from Butler, this season 25 of his yellow cards have been given to home team players whilst 34 have gone to away team players. On the occasion he refereed Burnley this season, at West Brom, there were three yellow cards with two going to Clarets Kevin Ball and Gareth Taylor.

Last season saw him take charge of what was probably our worst day of the season, at Ewood Park, although it is fair to say that he couldn't be held responsible for the result. The two yellow cards that day went to Glen Little and Paul Weller. Maybe Glen ‘Blakey' Little was booked for saying, "I hate you Butler".

It's not all bad news with Mr. Butler though, far from it, because if he was with us in our darkest hour last season then he was certainly with us on out best day of the previous season. Earlier that season he took charge of our 1-0 home win against Blackpool, a game that saw both yellow cards go to Blackpool players.

Then on 6th May he was the referee at Glanford Park as we beat Scunthorpe 2-1 to win promotion. The only Claret booked in that game was Steve Davis and the only criticism of the referee that day was not finding something wrong with Lee Hodges' goal for Scunthorpe. Surely he could have disallowed it for him hitting it too hard or something like that. Surprisingly that was the second season in succession he had referee our last game of the season, he was in charge of the 2-2 draw at Northampton a year earlier.

All in all he has done OK with the Clarets and looking back I certainly can't find a game where he has appeared to dominate proceedings. Hopefully that will continue on Sunday.