Stevenage's most famous cricketing son swaps red ball for football

Roland Butcher (left) and Geoff Boycott at Heathrow Airport after England's tour of the West Indies in 1981

Roland Butcher (left) and Geoff Boycott arrive at Heathrow Airport after returning from England's tour of the West Indies in 1981. - Credit: PA

Stevenage's most famous cricketing son, Roland Butcher, is making a name for himself with the larger round ball - unveiling his own football coaching manual and a new soccer school in the Caribbean.

Butcher was the first black man to play for England, appearing in three tests in the West Indies in 1980-81, but he has long been associated with football.

He played briefly for Stevenage Athletic and has been a scout for Arsenal. He also completed his coaching badges and worked for Brendan Rogers, now the Leicester City manager, when they were at Reading.

The 67-year-old was born in Barbados but grew up in the Old Town and attended Shephalbury School.

He played cricket for the town club before joining Middlesex.

He has now moved back to the country of his birth and in November 2004 was appointed director of sports at the Cave Hill campus of the University of West Indies.

He says his new manual and soccer school aim to help raise playing standards among younger players.

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