Alan Butcher captained Glamorgan between 1989 and 1992 – a period that saw the club lay the foundations for a highly successful period in the 1990`s which included the Championship success in 1997.
In particular, Butcher formed a highly effective opening partnership with fellow left-hander Hugh Morris, and in 1990 the pair shared 11 century opening stands. During that summer Butcher amassed 2116 runs, and by scoring 15 fifties, he set a new club record for the most number of Championship half-centuries made in a season.
Butcher had joined Glamorgan in 1987 after a highly successful career with Surrey, during which he won one Test cap against India at The Oval in 1979. He had initially joined the Surrey staff in 1972 as a left-arm seamer, but in the mid-1970`s he became John Edrich`s opening partner, and by the 1980`s Butcher was one of the most consistent openers on the county circuit.
In 1980 Butcher compiled a career-best 216* against Cambridge University, whilst in 1984 he scored a century in each innings at The Oval against Glamorgan. He continued to be a prolific run-scorer with Glamorgan, and in both 1989 and 1990 he was the first English batsman to reach a thousand runs for the season. His thoroughly professional efforts brought him the accolade of being one of Wisden`s Five Cricketers of the Year in 1990.
In 1992 Butcher sustained a serious calf injury that ultimately led to his retirement from the county game. He subsequently took on coaching jobs with Essex, and subsequently Surrey, for whom he re-appeared in 1998 when the county were badly affected by injuries. On the same day as the 44 year old`s return to first-class cricket, Butcher`s son Mark was opening the batting for England. In 1991 the two had created a county record when they played against each other in the Sunday League match between Glamorgan and Surrey at The Oval.
His other son Gary was also on the Glamorgan staff between 1994 and 1998, whilst his younger two brothers - Ian and Martin - have also played first-class cricket.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dr.A.K.Hignell)