By Damian Dolan
A misplaced passport nearly cost Phillip Butler a London debut in Carrick-on-Shannon last month. Thankfully a hasty search proved successful with the corner back going on to more than hold his own with an impressive display against Leitrim.
It would have been a travesty had he not, as in doing so Butler became the latest in a distinguished, but far from over populated, line of London-born players to tog out for the London Senior football team.
When Paul Coggins took over as manager he pledged to integrate London-born players and he’s been as true as his word, with Liam Gavigan, Brendan Mulrooney and Clive Mills all getting their chance, while before them came the likes of Michael Keane, Philip Morgan, Paul O’Donoghue, Andy Gallagher, Darren Gallagher, and, of course, the Hehir brothers, Paul and Senan.
Butler stops short of calling himself a role model, but that’s exactly what the 20-year-old student is. One of three London-born players on Coggins’ panel for London’s Connacht Football Championship clash with Sligo, along with Keane and Gavin McEvoy, Butler is an example and inspiration by his very presence in the London team against Leitrim.
“Paul told me on the Wednesday ‘have your passport ready’, but I hadn’t been able to find my passport for a couple of months. I spent that night looking for it – it was up in the loft somewhere,” said Butler, who found out the next day that he wouldn’t just be making the trip to Carrick, but that he would actually be starting the game.
For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World