Could the real Paul Butler please stand up?

As I have said to TSS, I feel like a one trick pony. You would think I was obsessed by Ken Bates. To prove I’m not, I’ve asked my wife to shave her beard off and wear contact lenses not her big spectacles. I also thought I could write something about the players not the board for a change.

 I really don’t get this anti-Beckford brigade. I can’t understand the people that want to demonise Jermaine Beckford just because he wants a bit more cash. Who doesn’t? For me, he scores goals at League One level and seeing as we are AT this level and top of the league, surely he’s doing a good job? I really do look at it as simplistically as that. Leave the lad alone. Whether he’s good enough for the Premier League (no) or not is irrelevant. He’s delivering the goods for us now and we should leave him to get on with his job until he decides to go or stay. That’s what got me thinking about past players that we really should have had more of a go at.

 The obvious ones have all been done to death as it were, some even on these good pages. Harry Kewell, Lee Bowyer, Kevin Nicholls all come to mind, but it’s the “second-raters” that I’m after. The ones that sort of make you shake your head rather than make the veins on your temples stand out.

 So, Ladies and Gentlemen, my nomination for the “All Time Leeds United Loser Award” is Paul Butler.

His first full season was actually quite reasonable. He put in some pretty solid performances and we finished mid table in 2005. The following season, he took the team all the way to Cardiff. Unfortunately, he forgot to turn up himself.

 I’ll never forget the start of the next season. I wasn’t entirely sure if it was Butler at centre half or just a very localised total eclipse of the sun. The man had put on so much weight over summer and was so unfit it was an insult to the fans. This was a professional athlete and captain of my club!  But it was his attitude that stuck out a mile to me. Despite getting skinned by every forward he faced, he still had the audacity to dish out verbal tirades to all of his team mates, usually after his own mistakes.

 So there you go. My nomination is for the player who had it within his grasp to be forever remembered in history as the man who got Leeds United back to the Premiership. Instead it is more likely that he’ll be remembered as the fat captain of Chester whose mouth got him suspended.

 Who would you nominate?