When talking about some of the best Manchester United players down the years, Nicky Butt is rarely mentioned, but his actual impact on the game is much bigger than you might think.
From birth, Nicky Butt was United through and through. He was born in Manchester, raised in Manchester and only ever had eyes for Old Trafford. From the start it was evident that the midfielder had the potential to be something special, and pretty soon he would realise that.
You’ve probably all heard about the Class of ’92, right? That fantastic group of youngsters in United’s academy that has led to an insufferable amount of media coverage? See, now we’re on the same page.
Anyway, what you might not know is that out of all those young lads who had more talent than we could dream of, Nicky Butt was labeled as the best. Yup. It’s funny to look back on that time period and see that as an actual fact, but Sir Alex Ferguson saw something great in him.
So what was his impact? First off, it’s his teachings. With the likes of Neville, Giggs and Beckham around him Butt assumed the role as leader in some respects, and jokester in another. Whenever the rest of the lads needed advice or someone to lift their spirits, Nicky was their man.
With the pressure of breaking into the first-team, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear they were all like Alex Hunter on FIFA 17’s ‘Journey’ about the prospect. Regardless of this, Butt maintained a calm persona at all times and whilst he didn’t dazzle the world like Becks or Giggs, what he did do was remain ever consistent.
Fast-forward a few years, and Butt is the one man out of all of them that can’t get a sustainable place in the first-team – then it happened. The midfielder played in the 1999 Champions League Final in place of Roy Keane, and the rest as they say is history.
The majority of players in that dressing room at the Nou Camp credited Butt with being the one to galvanize them at half-time, which is odd given that he was probably the man that should’ve felt the weight of the occasion more than any other.
That final has his finger prints all over it, and so does the current United set-up. Butt is the Under-19s head coach at Old Trafford, and now things have come full circle with the 41-year-old nurturing the stars of tomorrow with his impact on them being second to none.
Nicky Butt isn’t the fanciest and he isn’t the most skillful, but in years to come who knows how many future stars will bring up his name when talking about their influences. What a bloke.