UPDATED 02:29 18th August 2014
JACK BUTLAND finally made his debut for the Potters in January 2014 after waiting almost 12 months for his opportunity to pull on the goalkeeping jersey and follow in the footsteps of many famous stoppers to represent the Club.
An appearance as a second half substitute against Everton in the Premier League on the first day of 2014 due to injuries sustained by Asmir Begovic and Thomas Sorensen, was followed up by three starts in league and cup before Begovic’s return saw him temporarily depart to Leeds United for the rest of the season to take in regular first-team football.
It was a move which both he and the Club were happy to happen and followed a similar agreement earlier in the campaign where he moved to fellow Championship and Yorkshire rivals Barnsley.
Before his arrival in the Potteries he was aged just 19 years and 158 days when he made his international debut foe England 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 City 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 the first of a series of Under-21 caps.