Boston United defender Andy Butler plans to play until he's 40... after almost quitting football for the police force

New Pilgrims signing learning trades in and outside of the game...

Andy Butler. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Andy Butler. Photo: Oliver Atkin

Andy Butler came close to hanging up his boots for a career in the police force... but now the Boston United defender has plans to continue playing until he turns 40.

The 37-year-old - a qualified locksmith and a level two plumber - has spent his entire working life as a professional footballer, but spending his spare time planning for a possible future outside of the game.

And, after pulling off the white shirt of Scunthorpe United for the final time last summer he was preparing to become a boy in blue.

"I considered the Police Force," Butler said.

"I got to the written exam and then I got a contract with Donny Rovers and had to put that on the backburner.

"But I'm still looking into life after football. Nothing's a guarantee, so I'm looking into lots of different things.

"I've learned quite a few things but I like to keep busy. During the days now I'm looking for something else to do and to broaden my knowledge.

"Football is everything when you're in it, but when you finish you need to know what you want to do next."

Butler may well be the go-to guy in the dressing room when you're locked out the house or the kitchen's flooded.

But he is also a scholar of the game as well, sharing his time between turning out for the Pilgrims and and managing Doncaster Rovers Belles in the FA Women's National League Division One Midlands.

If that's not enough, Butler is also a level five referee.

"I love football and want to learn every aspect of it that I can," the former Sheffield United and Walsall defender said.

"Refereeing, running the line and the analysis side, I'm interested in it all."

Butler also ended last season as Rovers' interim manager, taking control of dug-out duties for the League One club after Darren Moore's departure in March.

However, anyone thinking he has arrived at the Jakemans Community Stadium with one eye on Craig Elliott's job will be sorely mistaken.

"I learnt so much from the management side, I use that as valuable information for the Doncaster Belles," he explained.

"I'm focussing fully on football and I want to learn from the gaffer, Macca (assistant John McDermott) and the team. The manager's methodical in what he does and I want to learn from him.

"I don't want to quit playing. I've got plenty of years left playing - I want to play until I'm 40."

Butler was part of the Scunthorpe United side which won promotions in the 2004-05 and 2006-07 seasons, finishing second in League Two before becoming League One champions two years later.

The defender is keen to add to his medal collection in the National League North, with a club where he has fond memories as an opposition player.

"I'd love another (promotion)," he said.

"Boston's a great club. I can remember being in the team to face Boston when Paul Gascoigne was there.

"I was stood in the tunnel watching Gazza smoking a cigarette. That was an unreal thing, but I played at the old stadium and know Boston's a great club, a well supported club.

"The chairman's keen to do well, so let's hope it's a positive season."

MORE PILGRIMS: United wait on midfielder injury - news

MORE PILGRIMS: Lincoln United v Boston - photos

MORE PILGRIMS: Ex-United duo join Weymouth - news

MORE PILGRIMS: Ex players on the move - news

MORE PILGRIMS: United announce squad numbers - news

Keep up to date with sport at Lincolnshire World on social media on Facebook and Twitter