Lincoln City legend, Richard Butcher, has passed away.
He died peacefully on Sunday night at his Manchester home at the age of 29.
He is the second former Rushden and Diamonds player to have passed away this season, following the death of goalkeeper Dale Roberts in December.
The popular midfielder, who was playing for fellow League 2 struggler’s Macclesfield Town at the time of his death, enjoyed three hugely successful spells with the Imps. He was a key part in one of City’s most successful periods, as the club reached the League 2 play-offs for a record four times in a row under the guidance of the late Keith Alexander from 2002-2006.
Richard became a real fan favourite during his time with the Imps, inheriting the affectionate nickname of ‘Butch’ and turning out a total of 123 times for the Lincolnshire outfit. He scored 12 goals.
He was appreciated by supporters for his all-action displays in City’s midfield engine room, as well as his undoubted commitment to the club.
‘Butch’ finally said goodbye to Lincoln when he was allowed to join Macclesfield Town at the beginning of the current campaign following a fruitful loan spell with the Silkmen last season.
The news of Richard’s death came as a huge shock to all of the club’s associated with him, but has hit both Macclesfield and Lincoln the hardest as the club’s are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of Keith Alexander not even a year ago.
Richard was embarking on his eleventh season as a professional football and had netted what turned out to be his last goal as recently as New Years day in the Silkmen’s away draw at Bury. He played nine times this year for Town under the management of former Lincoln City assistant, Gary Simpson.
A statement on Macclesfield Town’s official website, said:
“Richard passed away at his home in Manchester overnight.
He was an exemplary professional and a thoroughly likeable young man. Our thoughts are with his wife and family at this very difficult time.”
Tributes have already started to be made as fans honour the memory of Richard and his contribution to each of his former clubs.