– former Guyana International 1975 – 1979
Statistician Charwayne Walker continues his series of articles highlighting Guyanese players who served this nation during its 36 years of competing in World Cup football. The players featured before are Earl O’Neil and Dion Barnwell.
This is the third installment which will focus on Vibert Durdy Butts; 1975 – 1979.
The 4th of July will always remain special to Vibert Durdy Butts, not because it is the birthday of his mother or a famous Holiday in the USA, but because in 1976 on that day the Pele Football Club forward scored Guyana’s first World Cup goal en route to a 2-0 victory against Suriname at the World famous Georgetown Cricket Club, Bourda.
Butts’ feat was significant because Guyana was playing in its first World Cup match and amongst the sellout crowd was His is Excellency Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham.
Butts’ first stint as a national player was in 1973 against Suriname in the Inter Guiana Games Football tournament and he ensured Guyana regained the Forbes Burnham trophy by scoring a scorcher in the series Finale.
His first tour overseas was 1974 to Suriname with the Clive Perry led National Under-18 team for the Inter Guiana Games tournament. Although Lennox Arthur’s boys failed to bring the bacon home, the experience Butts gained would later prove invaluable.
His biggest moment came the following year, 1975, when he was included in Guyana’s first World Cup training squad. The Pele FC rookie first match in senior National colours was against Bare of Brazil in 1975 at the Camp Ayanganna Ground (GDF). He also featured in the next series against Texaco of Trinidad and Tobago.
As Guyana intensified its World Cup preparation; January of 1976 Brazil was Butts’ first tour in senior National colours. His next International engagement was against the Mighty Cuba, May 1976 when Castro’s men swept Guyana’s World Cup Squad four (4) matches to nothing.
Alex Ferguson’s Scottish Division One team St. Mirren landed at Timehri International Airport unbeaten after humbling Barbados and the Twin Island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
St. Mirren also thrashed Guyana’s World Cup Squad 5-1 in the opening encounter at the GCC Ground but goals by Butts and his Pele teammate Patrick (Labba) Barton led Guyana to a 2-0 win that halted Sir Alex Ferguson’s team unbeaten run.
The St. Mirren matches were Guyana’s final preparation for Suriname on July 4. So it was no surprise when Butts, Niles and company destroyed Suriname 2-0. As the now dreadlocks Butts explained his next World Cup match still remains a horror story.
He cannot believe Guyana lost the return fixture 3-0 in Paramaribo, a result that eliminated Guyana from the 1978 qualifying competition.
Butts had to watch from the stands for Guyana’s next two International matches against Curacao because the then GFA failed to resolve a dispute with the Pele FC resulting in Pele withdrawing its members from the National squad.
His International Career continued the following year, 1977, with three friendly Internationals against Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados, the latter Guyana won.
Butts’ International duties in 1977 concluded against Cuba’s National Under-23 team, that series against Castro’s reserves ended in a draw. Butts also featured for Pele in 1977 in the Caribbean Football Union Club Championship.
In 1978 Butts toured Barbados and T&T with the Earl O’Neil led National team. He also toured Aruba and Suriname with Pele for the CFU / CONCACAF Club Championship. He played his last game for the National side against the touring Russian Invova Textile Team in December, 1978.
Butts, was included in Guyana’s 20-man National side in 1979 but the Team withdrew from the CFU Nations Cup. He migrated a few months later to the USA.
1974 – Suriname Inter Guiana Games
1976 – Brazil Goodwill tour with World Cup Squad
1976 – Suriname World Cup Qualifier
1977 – Suriname CFU CONCACAF Club Championship
1878 – Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago Goodwill Tour Senior National Team
1978 – Arbua CFU Club Championship
1978 – Suriname CFU Club Championship
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