England legend Terry Butcher to become Azkals gaffer

If the reports are true, England legend Terry Butcher is set to take the Azkals job. WL Talbert/Wikimedia Commons
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA--The Philippines will enter a new era as the Asian Cup debutantes are looking into England legend Terry Butcher as the new manager, per various sources here and abroad.

First reported on The Scottish Sun, the former Rangers centre-half is set to join the 115th-ranked Azkals ahead of its official announcement by the team and the PFF later tonight, as he was tasked to guide the team through the Suzuki Cup and next year's Asian Cup in 2019.

Butcher's appointment ended the three month wait for the national side after Thomas Dooley's contract expired last March.


Sources close to Dugout Philippines said that the 59-year old is set for his first international job, three years since he was shown the door at Newport County with a formal announcement taking place at Solaire on the opening day of the World Cup.

His impending appointment will make him the first Englishman since Alan Rodgers in 1963 to take the national post.

Butcher was not much a total stranger with Philippine football, after it was reported in 2016 by SunStar's Jack Biantan that he came close to manage Global Cebu for the inaugural season in the PFL, with then chairman Dan Palami settling for Toshiaki Imai instead.

How do he get here?

Before hanging up his boots in 1993, the former England captain first got the touchline experience while at Coventry for more than a year, then moved to Sunderland the following season also as a playing manager before wandering between the Football League, Scotland and even A-League's Sydney during the stretch.

Butcher made his mark in the managerial scene with his four years at Inverness, when he achieved his first promotion to the Scottish Premier League when he clinched the First Division at his first attempt in 2013, before seeing his stock fall rapidly after uninspiring stints with Hibernian and Newport soon after.

Legendary playing career
Terry Butcher will be forever remembered with the blood that soaked his England shirt. FIFA/Getty Images
He made his presence felt with his 10-year association with his boyhood club Ipswich in 1976, before Graeme Souness got him north of the border as part of the Rangers revolution, where he spent four years from 1986 to 1990.

Butcher won 77 caps for the Three Lions, debuting in 1980 for Ron Greenwood while being featured in three World Cups and was at the wrong end of Diego Maradona's Goal of the Century at Azteca in 1986.

His career highlight was his defensive stand away at Sweden in a vital World Cup qualifier in 1989, where he played the entire 90 minutes in a goalless draw with blood soaking his immaculate white shirt after suffering a deep cut in his forehead early in the match.

He then skippered the side in Italia '90 for the next five matches after regular captain Bryan Robson went down injured in their second group game against the Dutch, helping England claim fourth in their best showing since winning it all in 1966.

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