Stalwart Rex, 80, still going strong

Rex Buttle has made his England debut in walking football.
Rex Buttle (bottom left) has made his England debut in walking football.

Sherborne FC celebrated their own England hero as the national side struggled against Hungary in the opening Nations League match.
Rex Buttle, 80, made his England debut in walking football against Wales over-75s at Merthyr Tydfil as the oldest player in the 15-strong squad.
Rex, who early in his career was struck with paralysis and told he would never play again, began his footballing life 63 years ago with Yeovil Town in 1959.
His extensive footballing journey saw him play for Sherborne and Westlands. After hanging up his boots – the first time – he began a long run in management with Sherborne, Gillingham, Crewkerne, Street, Weymouth (Youth) and Shaftesbury.
He also joined Yeovil Town after bumping into chairman John Fry at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane ground where Rex was taking young players trials – which perhaps cut against the grain for the lifelong Arsenal fan!
In his first season with Yeovil’s 16s side they won everything, and the next season at 18s level, they did the same. Rex went on to manage the Dorset County 16 and 18 age groups and assisted with Somerset under 18s.
He also managed the Blackmore league side on two occasions before stints at Weymouth as a kit man and physio.
Today Rex works with walking football teams and Ability Counts, helping disabled players enjoy the game he loves. It is a worthy cause for a man who grew up with blind parents.
Rex was honoured on his 80th birthday with a charity match in his name at Dorchester Town Football Club to raise money for Ukrainian refugees, one of many charity games Rex has been involved with over the years. He is still out either playing or coaching five days a week.
Rex has helped hundreds of youngsters take up the sport he loves and his passion for grassroots football stands as a reminder to those in the highest leagues that they are standing on the shoulders of giants.

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