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Ex-footballer Nicky Butt banned from driving for 12 months over motorbike crash

Ex-Manchester United player Nicky Butt arrives at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court (Ian Hodgson/PA)
Ex-Manchester United player Nicky Butt arrives at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court (Ian Hodgson/PA)

Former Manchester United footballer Nicky Butt has been banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work after breaking a motorcyclist’s leg in a road crash.

Butt, 49, behind the wheel of his Land Rover Defender and heading home after taking his son to football training in Burnley, pulled out in front of a Honda motorbike ridden by Adam Fielding, 28, following a “momentary lapse of concentration,” Blackburn Magistrates’ Court heard.

Mr Fielding suffered a broken left leg and other injuries, spending two weeks in hospital after the crash, at around 8.10pm on October 17, 2022.

He has had to have metal rods inserted in his leg, lost his job and has suffered psychological damage and is in constant pain, the court was told.

Nicky Butt playing for Manchester United Legends (Martin Rickett/PA)
Nicky Butt playing for Manchester United Legends (Martin Rickett/PA)

Butt told the court in a statement on Friday: “I could not be more sorry.”

Butt, of Bowdon, Greater Manchester, who admitted causing serious injury by careless driving at an earlier hearing, was also ordered to pay a £140 government surcharge and £85 costs.

John Dye, the barrister representing Butt, read a letter from the ex-Old Trafford favourite and England international, to Mr Fielding.

It said: “I have not stopped thinking about the accident and the effect it must have had on you and your family. I am truly sorry about the accident.

“I never set out to hurt anybody that night. What happened was a total accident. I checked and checked and checked again.

“If I could go back and change the events of that journey I would.

“I hope you can put this accident behind you. I could not be more sorry. I can only hope you can take this letter for what it is, heartfelt.”

Mr Dye said Butt had stayed at the scene after the crash, had no previous convictions and had pleaded guilty.

He said Butt already does voluntary work with released prisoners and passed on “glowing” references, not read out in court, to the judge.

He asked for a fine for the defendant, saying him taking part in unpaid work as part of a community order would be a “distraction” for others on the course and create difficulties for the Probation Service.

But District Judge Alex Preston said Butt should not be treated differently to defendants.

She told Butt: “I have no doubt you deeply regret what happened and feel genuine remorse.

“I do feel the case is serious enough for a community order. It is a matter for Probation how a community order is managed.

“It doesn’t seem to me you should be treated as an exceptional case because of your means.

“You have been unable to explain why you did not see the victim on his motorbike. You should not have pulled out at this junction.

“This was a serious error by you. All drivers must ‘Think bike’ at junctions.

“It is accepted by all parties however that this chain of events was set in motion by a momentary lapse of concentration by you.”

Earlier, Scott Parker, prosecuting, read a victim impact statement from Mr Fielding in which he said he had lost his job as a supervisor with Screwfix after the accident and was unable to do “physical” work, and the crash had left him in a “dark place”.

Nicky Butt court case
Ex-Manchester United player Nicky Butt leaving Blackburn Magistrates’ Court (Ian Hodgson/PA)

Mr Fielding said he now suffers from depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it had affected his independence, his relationship with his girlfriend, who became his “carer”, he had lost his social life and he will have to live for the rest of his life with metal rods in his left leg.

Mr Fielding said he is now addicted to painkillers and is in constant pain.

He added: “The accident has had a significant impact on all areas of my life.

“I have had almost two years of constant pain and I am likely to be in pain for the rest of my life, and I am unable to do things I used to enjoy.

“I feel like I am spending my life planning around the pain and what I am physically able to do.”

Butt was in United’s famed “Class of 92” with David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary and Phil Neville.

By the time he left the club in 2004, he had helped United win six Premier League titles, three FA Cups and a Champions League trophy.

He had spells at Newcastle United, Birmingham City and a brief stint in China before retiring from playing and returning to United as a coach.

In 2014, he joined Giggs, Scholes and the Nevilles in buying Salford City FC.