Tony Butterfield

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Tony Butterfield
Personal information
Full nameAnthony Butterfield
Born (1966-02-04) 4 February 1966 (age 53)
Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight103 kg (16 st 3 lb)
Position Prop
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1986–87 Penrith Panthers 40000
1988–00 Newcastle Knights 2292700108
Total2332700108
Representative
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1989 NSW Country 10000
1998 New South Wales 10000

Anthony Butterfield (born 4 February 1966) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s. A New South Wales State of Origin representative prop-forward, he started his club football career with the Penrith Panthers but played the vast majority of it with the Newcastle Knights, with whom he won the 1997 ARL premiership. He is the father of Australian comedian Isaac Butterfield.

Contents

Playing career

Butterfield was born in Penrith, New South Wales, and was signed from the Panthers reserve-grade to join the inaugural Newcastle Knights team for 1988. He remained with the Knights for thirteen seasons, retiring in 2000 as the club's most capped player – a record he later surrendered to Andrew Johns. In 1997 Butterfield was named in the Newcastle Knights Team of the Decade and again, in 2007, in the Team of the Era. [1]

Butterfield was selected for one NSW Origin match; game 3, 1998.

Players' Association

Butterfield was active as a representative of players both during and after his playing days. In the mid-nineties, he was Vice-President of the Kevin Ryan (rugby) led Rugby League Association and when that folded he became involved in the NRLPA in "99 and 2000. In 2000 Butterfield became the president and driving force behind the newly created Rugby League Professionals' Association. The RLPA was involved in unsuccessful negotiations with the NRL to improve players' wages and conditions from 2000 – 2003. [2]

In 2003 the RLPA was registered as a national trade union. It was the first sporting body in the history of Australia to become so registered.

2003 proved to be a turbulent year in the relations between the RLPA and the NRL. Negotiations for player minimum conditions had not gone well during the season. [3] At the end of the season the NRL believed that the players would boycott the competition's major awards night if their demands were not met. Butterfield took a negotiating stance that if the NRL announce that they would accept a number of minimum conditions that would be sufficient to guarantee the players' attendance at the awards. In response, the National Rugby League called the players' union's bluff and canceled the awards for that year. There was much media comment about the decision. [4] Craig Gower was widely tipped to be the winner of the award for 2003 but never received his medal. Gower was awarded an honorary medal by the RLPA in 2004 in recognition of his support for the players' campaign.

Following the controversy of 2003, and despite some reservations from one club, an agreement was finally reached in 2004. [5]

In 2004 Butterfield instituted the RLPA awards. The RLPA awards are based on peer review. At the end of each match, the players vote to allocate points to the three best players on the opposing team. These points are tallied and at the year RLPA holds its own gala awards night.

Awards

Butterfield was awarded 2004 Organiser of the Year by the Labor Council of New South Wales for his efforts in building up the RLPA. [6]

Butterfield retired from the RLPA in February 2006. He was replaced as head of the RLPA by former Newcastle teammate Matthew Rodwell. The RLPA was deregistered as a trade union in 2008 when Rodwell agreed to accept funding for the Association directly from the NRL. [7]

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References

  1. "Knights Team of the Era". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 26 August 2007.
  2. http://workers.labor.net.au/features/200310/a_interview_butts.html
  3. "Fittler and Tallis meet with Players' Association". The Sydney Morning Herald. 13 August 2003.
  4. "Accusations fly as NRL cancels Dally M awards" . Retrieved 4 September 2007.
  5. "Roosters turn back on player deal over cap". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 August 2004.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 November 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 August 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)