This is Peter Butler, ex-hammers player. My son, who is an hammers fan, said he had been on the site where obviously people post comments regarding me where some P***k has been slagging me off. Faor enough – I have broad shoulders and don’t really care but I want to put the record straight.
I live in Kuala Lumpur out of choice. I have a good life and my kids go to an international school here.
I left West ham for one reason only – not because I hated it there, as some idiot said. I loved every minute I had at West Ham Utd, but my mother was terminally ill and she died suddenly and I wanted to move nearer home to be near my Dad who was also not well. People often ask me why I left suddenly so there are the facts. I played with some excellent players their like Alvin, Bish, Clive & Martin Allen, Dicksy, Keeny etc and felt honoured to have put that claret and blue shirt on my back every game. Billy was fantastic to me and so was Harry who was instrumental in me joining the club. They are two people I had so much respect for and still have. It was a wonderful 2.5 years but my knees were playing up and i left for family reasons – end of story. Sad but true.
I then had an ill-feted spell at Notts County – 4 managers in 1 season – moved then to West Brom where I had 2.5 good seasons – great supporters at the Hawthorns. It went well but then I got offered a coaching position at Halifax Town, my home town team. That got off to a rocky start as I had people working against me coz they perceived me a threat to their positions in the coaching set up. Sad, weak bastards. That’s the thing about the English coaching set up – it’s so territorial. People are always watching their backs and a new face comes in and they shit themselves.
I left Halifax 2 years later and was offered a 3 year appointment on a sporting visa in Australia and loved it. I joined a small club called Sorrento in the Northern Suburbs of Perth, West Australia, as director of youth development and really enjoyed it. I met some wonderful people and have some great friends there to this day.
People often ask why I left england when I had a promising career ahead of me coaching ? Well, I was not prepared to sit on my arse and wait for another job. I love coaching and who would not have taken up an offer to coach and also finish my playing career in OZ – a truly wonderful experience.
I left Oz because the whole programme, from the A league down, was going through a total restructure and the job I was doing had gone as far as possible without additional funding. I could have stayed and enjoyed the Perth sunshine but thats not for me. I am driven and ambitious and was not ready just to live in Perth in the comfort zone – not my style. Plus its too quiet for me there.
I was then offered the Technical Director position at the East Malaysian Fa in Kota Kinabalu – a fantastic place to live and we had a lot of success there. I loved it, but then when things change there they change quick and I resigned due to problems behind the scenes.
I then went to Bali where I lived for a year, set up a business with a mate from England (who lives in OZ), bought land, built a house – then he decided to rip me off for over 200k dollars. So that went tits up and i am still in an Indonesian court fighting to recoup my investment. What a bastard. Not a great experience, but it made me sit up and smell the roses.
I still have a house and land there but will not end up living there. I moved onto Singapore where I coached the top side in Singapore SAF (Armed Forces ) had 8 months there. I took them to the top of the league, brought some good young kids into the team, then started getting interference from the general manager. His name was Colonel KOK – says it all!!! I resigned and moved back to East Malaysia, where I did 3 months consultancy work for the FA there. Then I came to Indonesia.
I coach a team here in the new Indonesian Super League called Persiba Balikpapan. It’s a wealthy oil and gas town in East Kalimantan. Good people who love their football. They are crazy about football here and its been like a busmans holiday for 14 months. I have travelled the length and breadth of Indonesia and I speak Indonesian, as it is similar to Malaysian, so it helps.
We get crowds at our place between 15- 20,000 every week and it’s crazy and it’s cut throat. Indonesian football is the strongest in South East Asia. They get huge crowds here. We played in East Java recently and there was over 45,000 in the ground. They are similar to the English supporters and they never stop singing. It’s certainly made me a better coach and a stronger and better person for the experience. It’s certainly chalk and cheese to Leigh – on – Sea and the Bbarking Road but what an experience! I would not have changed it for anything. I am still only 41 so there’s plenty of time for me to come back and coach in England, but I enjoy coaching and living in Asia. The game of football is going through the roof here. It’s growing and developing so rapidly.
I will never forget my time at West Ham. The fans were brilliant to me and I loved playing there. They are without a shadow of doubt the best fans in London and it was a pleasure and a riviledge to have pulled on that shirt and to have played for such great people.
I hope this puts the record straight from the horse’s mouth. I will never be rich living out here nor do I want to be, but I will always have a smile on my face, come what may !!
What an absolutely top man.