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Thomas Butler (footballer)

Personal information
Full nameThomas Butler
Date of birthApril 25, 1981(age 36)
Place of birthDublin, Republic of Ireland
Height1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing positionMidfielder
Club information
Current clubSwansea City

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Thomas Butler (born 25 April 1981 in Dublin) is a professional footballer who currently plays for Swansea City in the Premier League. He has played for the Republic of Ireland at under-21 and senior level.

Butler started his career at Sunderland, and as a youngster forged himself a reputation as one of the Republic of Ireland's brightest stars and he gained acclaim when he was named the Republic of Ireland's Under-15 Player of the Year in 1997. By the time he was 18, he travelled to South Africa to play in 1999 World Youth Cup for his country. Butler was then signed professional by Peter Reid for Sunderland.

Shortly after, Butler made his debut during Sunderland’s 3 2 win over Walsall during the 1999/2000 season after coming on as a substitute. Butler was on the verge of breaking into the first team and was successful for the reserves. This earned him a chance to make his first league appearance after once again coming on as a substitute against West Ham.

However the following season saw Butler struggling to make an impact and he was loaned to Darlington to gain match practice. For Darlington he made ten appearances but despite his popularity amongst the fans his loan move was not extended and Butler returned to Sunderland. The following seasons saw Butler make just 17 starts and 12 substitute appearances. Despite the lack of games, Butler was called up the Republic of Ireland team by Mick McCarthy and made his senior international debut in the 3 0 win against Finland.

Butler left Sunderland due to unspecified personal reasons, returning to Ireland and stating his intention to leave professional football. While Sunderland were initially sympathetic to his situation, he eventually threatened them with legal action for breach of contract.

Having reconsidered his future, Butler joined Dunfermline on trial, subsequently signing and making eight starts and six substitute appearances. However, he wasn’t offered an extended contract and was forced to look elsewhere.

In 2005, Butler then joined Hartlepool United on a short-term contract. He made his debut against Blackpool. Butler made an impressive start to his Hartlepool career and scored his first professional goal in the 3 0 win against Swindon. Butler then signed permanently for Hartlepool for 2005 06 season, but in the July 2006 signed for Swansea City following Hartlepool's relegation.

Butler scored twice and won a penalty in Swansea's 3 0 win over Premiership side Sheffield United in the 2006 07 FA Cup third round tie at Bramall Lane.

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