Richie Butler who resides in Duncannon, was one of the finest goalie’s to emerge from the New Ross District. His career playing for his beloved Club – St. James’s, Ramsgrange – spanned over 25 years.
His dedication to the club was second to none. In most of the games he played in for the Club, he turned in some brilliant performances with eye-catching saves. His ability as a top-class goalie was tested time and time again. But he never failed to sparkle and always came up trumps after every game.
His movement around the goal was catlike. His vision, his courage, and his judgment were outstanding. He knew when to stay on his line or move out to face the ball. His razor-sharp reflexes and his confidence won him lots of dangerous balls around his area.
Richie was born in 1947 and was educated at Duncannon N.S..
His Boyhood Hero was – Tony Doran.
The two best goalie’s he has seen in Hurling were – Pat Nolan (Oylegate) and Damien Fitzhenry.
Two of the best goalie’s he has seen in Football were – Stephen Cluxton (Dublin) and Martin Furlong (Offaly).
Richie first played Junior for St. James’s, Ramsgrange in 1963 while he was still a Juvenile and finished up his career 27 years later in 1990.
One of the finest games of Hurling that he played in was vs St. Martin’s in the County U’21 Hurling Semi-Final, played in Wexford Park in 1968. His display in this encounter was as near perfection as possible. He was confident, disciplined, dependable and commanding, displaying wonderful efficiency.
When playing for his Club, the Forwards he found difficult to curtail in his opinion were – Joe Foley (Ballyhogue), Seamus Bradley (Adamstown) and James Bolger (Rathgarogue- Cushinstown).
The greatest Hurlers he has seen over the years were – Henry Shefllin (Kilkenny), D.J. Carey (Kilkenny), Eddie Keher (Kilkenny), Brian Whelehan (Offaly) and Nicky English.
In Wexford, he selects – Tony Doran, Mick Jacob, Keith Rossiter, Phil Wilson and Martin Quigley – as very impressive players.
The Hurlers from – St. James’s, Ramsgrange – that stood out over the years in Richie’s opinion were – Pat Walsh R.I.P., Jim Cullen, Andy Doyle and Dicky Butler.
The finest Fotballers he has seen were – Jack O’Shea (Kerry), Pat Spillane (Kerry), Brian Mullins (Dublin), Matt Connor (Offaly) and Peter Canavan (Tyrone).
The greatest Footballer of them all in Richie’s opinion was – Jack O’Shea (Kerry).
The finest Hurler he has seen was – Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny).
One of the greatest Club Games he has seen was the three meetings between – Rathnure vs Faythe Harriers – in the 1978 Co. Senior Hurling Final, with Rathnure winning out in the 2nd replay with a score of 0.9 to 0.8.
At Inter County Level, the 1968 All Ireland Senior Hurling Final between – Wexford vs Tipperary – was another classic.
He played in all four Grades at U’21, Juvenile, Junior and Senior Hurling with – Horeswood – and Football with – St. James’s, Ramsgrange. In Football, he also played in goal for the Club.
With the New Ross District, he played Hurling and Football in the Championships.
In the Rackard School Leagues, he played with Ramsgrange School.
The two best Full Backs he has seen in Hurling were – Dan Quigley (Rathnure) and J.J.Delaney (Kilkenny).
The two best Midfielders he has seen were – Phil Wilson (Ballyhogue) and Johnny Murphy (Crossabeg-Ballymurn).
The two best Full Forwards he has seen were – Tony Doran and Jimmy Barry Murphy (Cork).