Manchester United

Nicky Butt leaves Manchester United in search of 'new challenge'

Ali Rampling
Butt is leaving Manchester United after nine years
Butt is leaving Manchester United after nine years / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Nicky Butt is stepping down from his role as head of first-team development at Manchester United in search of a new challenge, bringing an end to his nine-year coaching tenure with the Red Devils.

Butt progressed through United's academy as a member of the famous Class of '92, spending 12 years in the club's first team and winning ten major trophies before departing for Newcastle in 2004.

The former midfielder hung up his boots in 2011, before returning to United in a coaching capacity in 2012, taking charge of the club's reserve side. He has been head of first-team development since July 2019, where he was responsible for helping young players make the transition into the first team and worked closely with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe, Dean Henderson and Mason Greenwood in his various roles.

Nicky Butt
Butt spent 12 years in the United first team as a player / Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

“Having come through the Academy myself to play almost 400 games for Manchester United, it has been an absolute privilege to come back and work with a new generation of talent making that same journey,” Butt told Manchester United's official club website upon announcing his departure.

“I’m proud of the role everyone on the staff plays in giving our young footballers the best possible chance of fulfilling their potential, and the results are clear to see in the increased number of homegrown players reaching the first team.

“I already know from my playing days how difficult it is to leave Manchester United, but it feels like the right moment for a new professional challenge and I look forward to exploring opportunities that build on the great experiences I’ve had here over the past nine years.”

Nicky Butt
Butt is also currently co-owner at Salford City / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - who Butt reported to directly - paid tribute to Butt, adding that the door is always open for him to return.

“We are all going to miss him around the Aon Training Complex but Nicky knows he will always be welcome back," Solskjaer said.

“Nicky will always be a legend of Manchester United as a six-time Premier League winner and, of course, an integral part of our Treble-winning team. That pedigree has made him a great source of guidance and inspiration to our Academy players since he returned to the club.

“We are all going to miss him around the Aon Training Complex but Nicky knows he will always be welcome back.”