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Retired Butler serving property market

Former Rotherham striker Martin Butler was used to converting chances during a 16-year career, but it’s a different type of converting he’s doing now he’s hung his boots up.

Butler, a £150,000 signing from Reading in 2003, scored 29 goals in 104 appearances for the Millers but retired in 2009 and is now a property developer, renovating old houses and then selling them on.

After an injury-filled final few years of his career, including contracting Hepatitis A while still at Millmoor, the 40-year-old, who also counts Walsall, Reading and Cambridge among his former clubs, was adamant he wanted to leave the game completely when his playing days were gone.

It was a brave decision as he swapped the cushy lifestyle of being a professional footballer for a return to a learning environment in his mid-30s as he completed college courses in plumbing and heating.

“Me and my wife have a property business, so we renovate old properties and sell them on,” Butler explained

“We did one house while I was still playing, so towards the end of my career we started doing it, then I went back to college when I retired and did plumbing and heating courses and a few other courses to help me on my way.

“We have just finished a house that we have been on with for 13 months now so we are just waiting for it to sell and when that one sells we will move on to the next one.

“At the moment we only buy to sell, buying to let might come in the future.”

And on his return to college Butler added: “It was definitely an eye-opener.

“It was strange because I thought it would be a lot of younger people, which it was, but there were also quite a lot of older people because it was in the time of the recession and there was a lot of people out of work and they were trying different things.

“It was a real eye opener but it was something that I am glad I have done and it has taught me new skills for the rest of my life.

“You’re still a young man at 35 even though you might be past it in terms of football in the real world you are a young man.”

Much like former Millers team-mate Stewart Talbot, Butler was content to turn his back on football completely after he retired.

The prospect of coaching or managing painted a grim picture for the family man, who was keen not to spend anymore time on a team coach.

“That was one of things I didn’t want to do,” he said. “Once we had a young family I found was being able to go on holiday any time I wanted, definitely not work on Saturdays, not have to travel all over the country on a Friday, not sit on motorways in a coach.

“There’s good sides and bad sides to everything but towards the end of my career I could only see the bad sides really so I wanted to come out of football and do something totally different.

“When you are younger and you haven’t got a family and are a single man it’s the best life you can have really.”

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