Ian started his career at Coventry City but his 90 appearances
were not often in his preferred position as centre half. He was
sold to Notts Forest in a joint move with Stuart Pearce. One half
of this deal went on to captain England, the other to Carrow Road
as Ian Butterworth joined Norwich in September 1986. Originally
on loan, he transferred permanently two months later for £160,000.
Since then, he was a regular in the centre of the City defence
for the best part of eight years until knee injuries forced him
to retire. An attempt to resurrect his career at King's Lynn failed
and Ian moved to the USA to participate in the inaugural season
of the Major League Soccer with the Colorado Rapids. Rumours have
it that he had a trial with Stoke City during the 1996/97 season.
Can anyone confirm this?
Ian restarted his career in Sweden with Braga and in September
1997 became their player manager. However The News of the
World reported soon afterwards (on 19th October 1997) that
Ian was seeking to resurrect his career in Britain and that he
had arranged a trial with Third Division Peterborough. In November
1997, Ian played in a reserve team friendly for Darlington, managed
by former Canary David Hodgson against
Crook Town. Attempts to restart his career in English league football
were unsuccessful and Ian joined Kevin Bond's Stafford Rangers of the Dr Martens Southern
League. In the early part of 1998, Ian then moved to Ireland to
become player manager of struggling Cobh Ramblers.
In May 1998, he joined Dave Hodgson's Darlington as Assistant Manager. They led
Darlington to a Wembley appearance in the Division Two play-offs
in 1999/2000 but in a shock move, Hodgson and Butterworth resigned
from their jobs on 2nd July 2000, with Hodgson immediately replaced
by Gary Bennett.
In October 2000, Ian was appointed as Number 2 to Alan Cork at
Cardiff City and this partnership was successful as Cardiff gained
promotion to Division Two in April 2001. As assistant to Lennie
Lawrance, Ian helped Cardiff into Division One in May 2003.
On 3rd September 2004, Cardiff sacked Butterworth and finess
coach Clive Goodyear. Bluebirds owner Sam Hammam said a change
was needed to give manager Lennie Lawrence a "right-hand
man who is a super coach, a bit of an animal". Hammam
added: "Lennie is the right manager for Cardiff City,
we will not change that. But maybe it's time to change things
around." Early speculation linked former Wimbledon manager
and current Watford coach Terry Burton with the role
Butterworth obtaining his pro licence Coaching Badge in 2005
which he took with Bristol Rovers manager Ian Atkins. Atkins then
offered Butterworth a coaching role. It is initially unpaid with
Atkins commenting "at least it gets him out of the house"
!! Ian left Rovers when Atkins was sacked in September 2005. He
then worked for the Football Association, including a stint at
the World Cup in Germany 2006 before joining Hartlepool as Reserve
Team Manager in early July 2006. "It's a fantastic appointment
for the club," Pools boss Danny Wilson told his club's
website."I am sure he is going to be a real asset for
us. The fact that he has been to the World Cup helping the FA
speaks volumes," he added
Following the appointment of Bryan Gunn
as the new Norwich manager on 21st January 2009, it was reported
that Butterworth might be lined up for a switch to Carrow Road
as Gunn's assistant. This became a reality at the beginning of
Following Bryan Gunn's sacking on 14th August 2009, Butterworth
was appointed caretaker manager and oversaw the 1-1 draw at Exeter
and the 2-1 defeat at Brentford. With the appoitnment of Paul
Lambert and Ian Culverhouse,
Butterworth resigned on 19th August 2009 saying Obviously
things haven't worked out during my time here in difficult circumstances
and I obviously felt the new coaching team wouldn't want me hanging
about. Therefore I have taken the decision that it is right for
all parties for me to move on."
In early October 2010, Butterworth was reported to have been
interviewed for the vacant Lincoln City manager's position, available
since Chris Sutton quit at the end of
Since leaving Norwich, Butterworth has helped his old Coventry
and Forest teammate Stuart Pearce by scouting England Under-21's
opponents. In June 2011, he was linked with the vacancy at Torquay.
On 14th June 2013, Butterworth joined QPR as Scouting Co-ordinator
replacing Kevin Cruickshank. "Everyone will be pulling
together next season and my job will be to search for players,
identify players, and then present them to Harry. I have
a team of scouts that I will need to organise. At the moment there
are six or seven involved with the club who are based across the
UK and some parts of Europe. Well be looking to put them
in the right areas to cover the games and players that we want
Butterworth and QPR returned to the Premiership on 24th May 2014
beating Derby in the Championship play-off final with Bobby
Zamora scoring the vital goal.
They spent just one season in the Premier League, relegated on
10th May 2015 losing 6-0 to Manchester City. They finished bottom
of the table.
In the summer of 2017, Butterworth moved to Burnley to become their new Head of European Recruitment.