Twenty-five years on from England’s original penalty heartache, skipper Terry Butcher chatted to us about cycling, the Qatar World Cup and how well he really knows his old team-mates

6 Mar 2015

Good morning, Terry. We have to confess we’re slightly disappointed there isn’t a single drop of blood on your shirt, but nevertheless we’re really excited you’re doing the London to Amsterdam Challenge for Men United. What made you want to get involved?
Prostate cancer’s such a hidden disease, you don’t see what it can do until it’s too late. It’s difficult to go and see a doctor about but it’s something you should do. That’s why I’m doing this, to raise awareness and make sure that there are more men in Men United than ever before.

We know you’re a big fan of the old Lycra on leather, Terry. When did you first get into cycling?
I got the sack from Coventry City in 1992 and wanted something to fill my time. I was doing about 30 or 40 miles a day. It’s amazing when you get out on a bike, you just think about things and relax and enjoy the scenery, but do some serious work as well. It was my office. Now I’ve got two plastic knees the bike work is perfect to keep my fitness levels up.

How’s the training going?
Everyone thinks Suffolk is quite flat but there are a few naughty hills there. I’m used to that, though, having lived so long in Scotland – there are a lot of big hills there!

There is indeed, Terry. How’s your diet now compared to when you were playing?
My diet has changed a little but not a lot. When I played, you’d burn so many calories in training you had to put it back in different ways. We used to have a lot of fish and chips, pies and beans, things like this, and it didn’t do us any harm. But I wouldn’t say it’s the right diet for footballers now.

We’re pretty sure Arsène Wenger would agree with you there. Speaking of modern football, what do you think about playing the World Cup before Christmas?
They’re trying to get themselves out of a massive hole with the Qatar World Cup and they’re now saying 18 December will be the final. It’s pretty bizarre. The disruption it’ll cause leagues around the world is astronomical.

Terry Butcher Prostate Cancer UK

Our thoughts exactly. Christmas is all about getting together with your friends… and so is Men United. Who do you see most from the Italia 90 squad?
Football is a funny world. You go where the jobs are and only really see people you know at functions or Wembley matches. But whenever you do meet them it takes you straight back to 1990. It was a special time.

OK, Terry, that’s enough chit -chat. It’s time to see how much of a special time it was by putting you on the spot with 10 questions about your old England team-mates. Question 1 is about Gary Lineker – which former prime minister inspired his middle name?
Winston Churchill.

Very good, you obviously know your British history, but do you know how many goals Peter Beardsley scored in his England career?
I’ll go for 13.

It’s unlucky for some and I’m afraid it’s unlucky for you. The answer is nine. Which Scottish team did Chris Waddle make four appearances for in 1996?
That’s Falkirk.

We should have known we couldn’t trip you up with north-of-the-border knowledge. In which county was Mark Wright born?

We can see what you’ve done there, Terry, but unfortunately there are no points for logic. He was born in Oxfordshire. Stuart Pearce was nicknamed Psycho, but was he sent off more or fewer times than Vinnie Jones?

That’s unbelievable. I’ll have to go for more.

Sadly not, Psycho was sent off five times to Vinnie’s 12. Bryan Robson never had much luck with injuries at World Cups. How many minutes did he manage at Italia 90 before getting crocked?

Oh ye of little faith. It was actually 155. Everyone knows that New Order penned the famous World In Motion, featuring the John Barnes rap. But which Liverpool player wrote the lyrics for Barnes’s other rapping tour de force – The Anfield Rap?
Craig Johnston.

Obviously you’re a massive hip hop fan, well done. Where did Paul Parker first play professionally?


Correct. Which profession did Neil Webb go into after retiring from football?
He was a postman.

We were hoping you’d say faith healer, Terry, but you’re absolutely right. Which of the following items caused a severed tendon injury in Dave Beasant’s foot, putting him out of action for two months during the 1993-94 season?
These are the most bizarre questions I’ve ever had to answer, but I happen to know that it’s a bottle of salad cream.

Correct! Six out of 10, Terry: not bad at all but definitely room for improvement. Time to see your mates more!

Help us beat prostate cancer by joining Terry on the London to Amsterdam Challenge.

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