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1.05.2024Bayer 04

Birthday boy of the month II: Hans Jörg Butt turns 50

Hans Jörg Butt was born on 28 May 1974 in Oldenburg. Jörg, or Butti as he was known to his teammates, played for TSV Großenkneten in his youth. In 1991, he transferred to VfB Oldenburg, for whom he played his first games in the senior team in 1994/95. In the Regionalliga Nord, he played 33 times in the first season and 34 times in the second season for the North Germans, with whom he was also promoted to Bundesliga 2. He made a name for himself for the first time in the promotion season with his speciality of scoring penalties. He netted four times for Oldenburg.

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He also caught the eye in Bundesliga 2, and Hamburger SV signed him in 1997. He immediately ousted the experienced Richard Golz in goal and impressed not only with his goalkeeping, but also with his above-average footballing ability for a goalkeeper.

In his second Bundesliga season, he also became HSV’s penalty taker, scoring seven times from the spot and, when a penalty was awarded in HSV's favour, the Hamburg fans shouted "Butt, Butt, Butt!" for him to take the penalty.

After his fourth season there and his first games in the Champions League for Hamburg, Bayer 04 general manager Reiner Calmund brought him to Leverkusen. Here he would be number 1 from 2001 until February 2007. He continued to take penalties for the Werkself and scored a total of seven in his 191 Bundesliga games for the club. He was part of the 2001/02 team that finished runners-up in the Bundesliga, the cup and the Champions League.

Between 3 August 1997 and 10 February 2007, he missed only four league games. In his final season, he was sent off in the 28th minute of the 2-2 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt on 10 February and was suspended for two games. Benedikt Fernandez deputised in the first match and then Rene Adler in the second, who eventually ousted him in net. As a result, Butt terminated his contract on 30 April 2007, which was due to run until 30 June 2009.

He went to Benfica for a year but was unable to get ahead of Portugal’s Quim. He therefore decided to move back to the Bundesliga. He was signed by Bayern Munich as back-up to support the young Michael Rensing but soon replaced him as first choice in his first season.

At the start of the 2009/10 season under new coach Louis van Gaal, he initially had to relinquish this position to Rensing, until the latter's uncertainties led to him once again becoming the regular goalkeeper from Matchday 4 onwards. When he converted a penalty in the 4-1 win away at Juventus in the final Champions League group game on 8 December 2009, Butt became the first Bayern goalkeeper to score a goal in regular time. Butt won the double with Bayern in 2010 and was in goal for the Champions League final in May 2010.

He not only scored a penalty for Bayern against Juventus, but also scored from the spot for HSV and Bayer 04 against the Italians.

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In his final season in 2011/12, he achieved the same "feat" with Bayern that he had with the Werkself 10 years previously: runner-up in the league, runner-up in the cup and runner-up in the Champions League, but this time he was the substitute goalkeeper.

His call-ups to the national team were also impressive. Although he "only" made four international appearances, he went to the 2002 and 2010 World Cups and the 2000 European Championships, always as number three.

At the end of his career in 2012, he had made 387 Bundesliga appearances and scored 26 goals from the penalty spot, 17 of them in a row - still the record for consecutive penalties scored, together with Robert Lewandowski. Furthermore, he is not just the only goalkeeper to score goals in four divisions and in the Champions League, but also the only goalkeeper to date to score two goals in two separate Bundesliga matches. Butt netted past then VfB Stuttgart goalkeeper Franz Wohlfahrt in both the 3-1 win on 22 May 1999 and the 3-0 victory on 21 August 1999. On both occasions he made it 2-0 and 3-0.

He is also regarded as a good goalkeeper at keeping out penalties, ranking fifth among all Bundesliga goalkeepers with 14 penalties saved. In the Champions League, he is still the record holder with five penalties saved in 62 matches.

Butt has been working for the family-owned loading system company BUTT Verladerampen und Industrietore from Großenkneten since 2013. He is responsible for sales and marketing in the southern sales office and lives in Munich with his wife and three children.

My dear Butti, I wish you all the best for your special day. Stay healthy and celebrate with your loved ones.

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