Wolverhampton Wanderers: top 30 players - Number 21

Wolves Billy Wright Stand

If we are recognising a number of Wolverhampton Wanderers players from the early 2000s, then we have to include defender Paul Butler.


When Paul Butler first signed for Wolverhampton Wanderers on loan in November 2000, he only contributed to two wins from five games, but after that spell came to an end at a period when Colin Lee was sacked as the club's manager, Butler returned on a permanent deal under new boss Dave Jones just one month later.


It proved to be a brilliant acquisition by Jones, who installed Butler as club captain at the start of the following season. He guided Wolves to the playoffs in his first season, and although they missed out, they wouldn't waste a second opportunity in the 2002-03 campaign as they beat Sheffield United in the final. 


Butler made a total of 86 appearances in all competitions during those two years, and he would continue to remain at the heart of the defence throughout the club's maiden year in the Premier League, missing just one game. However, Wolves would suffer relegation at the end of the season, and Butler would depart for Leeds United after failing to agree a new contract at Molineux.


It was a disappointing end to an otherwise successful period at the club, but Butler lifting the Playoff winners trophy alongside Paul Ince in May 2003 will never be forgotten in the Black Country.

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