But Steve was different from these lazy, overpaid players who felt they had a divine right to play in the first team (I`m talking about you, Mr Nogan! ). Steve actually appeared to care. He had apparently been a stalwart in the Maidstone attack, scoring over thirty goals in the season he made his meteoric rise to the bottom of the second division where Watford at the time were placed, and I remember thinking that perhaps we had unearthed an uncut diamond in a season which was remembered as Watford's worst for many years. However he did not set the Vicarage alight, scoring one goal in ten games. But it did not matter - The Golden Eagle had landed and the Horns had stayed up with a 1-0 win over Oxford in the penultimate game of the season.
The next season was, I assured myself, to be the year of Steve Butler. Oh, the stupidity of youth! I truly believed that he would adjust to playing in the higher division and would systematically destroy the opposition defences alongside the renewed Luther Blissett.
It has to be said that things did not go to plan, Steve always looked great with his back to goal, laying the ball off superbly at times, but when he was given the chance to shoot, the ball would tamely roll past the goal post or into the hands of the grateful goalkeeper. The timing of his headers was legendary, often leaping like a salmon when the ball was in the other half of the pitch, and when he did connect the ball would tamely go over the bar. It was also true that he was not the quickest player to grace the Vicarage Road turf - of course, this would not matter if you could read the game as well as say Clive Allen, but sadly this was not one of Steve's strengths either.
It was no surprise when The Golden Eagle made a comfortable nest on the substitutes bench, and would play for fifteen or twenty minutes a game, when the crowd were baying for some entertainment during yet another nil-nil draw and often would want him to play just to laugh at him (how cruel!). By the end of the season, Stevie left for Cambridge where I caught sight of him on "Endsleigh Football League Extra" last Monday night. He even scored a super goal. I always knew he could play, perhaps now he could return to his perch and carry us to promotion. How about it Glenn? The second coming of Steve Butler? (Just a joke!)
Football's eternal man of Kent has returned to his home county to join Third Division big-spenders Gillingham for something in the region of £100,000. He was commuting every day from Maidstone to Cambridge to take part in training, but wasn't really happy with the situation, so he jumped at the chance to return home and help Gillingham's push for promotion. Linking up with Leo Fortune-West and another old boy, Dennis Bailey, The Golden Eagle (or "Butts" as the wry Kentish Yokels call him now) is leading the attack and racing up the scorers table at a rate of knots never before experienced by Stevo himself. He's got a couple of years' running in him yet, so we Horns may still get the chance to see our Golden Boy once more, given the Gills' meteoric rise.