Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Butt Gets Ready to Go out on a High

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Butt Gets Ready to Go out on a High

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas

NICKY Butt is to lift the Championship trophy on behalf of his Newcastle United team-mates this weekend in what Chris Hughton admits may be the last act of his decorated career.

Club captain Butt will leave United when his contract expires at the end of the season - with the 35-year-old understood to be considering retirement and a move into coaching.

But if it is to be his final season he will go out on a high, hoisting the Football League trophy at a sold-out St James' Park following the Ipswich game on Saturday.

Butt (right) has started just 10 league games in a truncated season, with Alan Smith donning the skipper's armband in his absence.

Hughton still believes the former Manchester United man deserves the honour of leading the team up the podium - partly in recognition of the huge influence he has had off the field. "If I look at the period of time I've been here, Nicky Butt has been a wonderful ambassador," Hughton said.

"I knew of him before of course, and his achievements at Manchester United with Nicky being one of that group of young, quality players that came through.

"And what I've seen of him in my time here is exactly that, someone with the grandeur that he had at Manchester United. He's someone that trains well every day.

"He's 35 now, he trains well. When we've needed performances from him we've got them.

"He's been a hard player to leave out because he's a good player.

"Of course with the squad we've got he wouldn't have got the amount of minutes on the pitch that someone of his competitive nature would have liked."

With his vast experience of the game and years of experience at St James' Park, Butt has been talked of as a potential future United coach. The former England international, nominated by Pele as the best player at the 2002 World Cup, is half-way through his UEFA 'A' licence and is giving serious thought to his next step. …

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