JACK BUTLAND re-wrote the record books in August 2012 when he became the youngest ever goalkeeper to appear for the senior England team.
He was aged just 19 years and 158 days when he made his debut in a friendly against Italy, eclipsing the previous record held by Billy Moon, who was 64 days older when he made his first England appearance in 1888.
Remarkably Butland, who also played a starring role for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics, was still waiting to make his first team debut for Birmingham at that stage.
That came three days after he had taken his senior England bow – in a 1-1 draw with Charlton – and he has barely looked back since.
Butland’s impressive form for Birmingham propelled him into the limelight and was linked with a host of top-flight outfits – and reportedly rejected the opportunity to discuss a potential move to Chelsea – before joining Stoke on the final day of the January 2013 transfer window.
The Potters were delighted to secure the services of one of the most highly-rated young ‘keepers in Europe but loaned him back to the West Midlands club for the remainder of the 2012-13 Championship season.
A product of the Birmingham Academy, he made his reserve team debut as a 16 year old and was named Young Player of the Year at the end of the 2009–10 season.
He gained valuable first team experience in two loan spells with Cheltenham before getting his big break with Birmingham.
At international level, Butland was a member of the England squad that won the European Under-17 Championship in 2010 and the following year won his first Under-21 cap.