Terry Butcher is perhaps remembered more for his war wounds than for any of the tackles he made as commander-in-chief of the England defence throughout the 1980s.
A tough, fearless centre-half who never gave anything less than total commitment for his country, Butcher famously played on with his white shirt drenched in blood from a patched-up head wound during a World Cup Qualifier against Sweden in 1989.
It wouldn’t have been so bad, but his insistence on continuing to make powerful headed clearances had split the wound wide open.
Having won the UEFA Cup with Ipswich in 1981, Butcher was the youngest member of the England defence in the following year’s World Cup Finals.
By the 1986 tournament his role at the heart of the back four was secure. Graeme Souness signed Butcher for Rangers that year, when it was still rare for top-level English players to go north of the border.
Souness summed up his new signing’s greatest asset most succinctly: “He’s six foot four inches of solid muscle.”
A broken leg kept Butcher out of Euro 88, where he was clearly missed, but those bloodied heroics in Sweden helped England to the 1990 Finals, and by the semi-final against West Germany he was wearing the captain’s armband.