Thomas Butler is a professional footballer who currently plays for Swansea City in League One. He has played for the Republic of Ireland at under 21 and senior level.
Thomas Butler started his career at Sunderland.
As a youngster Thomas Butler forged himself a reputation as one of the Republic of Ireland's brightest stars and he gained acclaim when he was named the Republic of Ireland's Under-15 Player of the Year in 1997.
By the time he was 18, he travelled to South Africa to play in 1999 World Youth Cup for his country. Thomas Butler was then signed professional by Peter Reid for Sunderland.
Shortly after, Thomas Butler made his debut during Sunderland’s 3-2 win over Walsall during the 1999/00 season after coming on as a substitute. Thomas Butler was on the verge of breaking into the first team and was successful for the reserves. This earned him a chance to make his first league appearance after once again coming on as a substitute against West Ham.
However the following season saw Thomas Butler struggling to make an impact and he was loaned to Darlington to gain match practice. For Darlington he made ten appearances but despite his popularity amongst the fans his loan move was not extended and Butler returned to Sunderland.
The following seasons saw Butler make just 17 starts and 12 substitute appearances. Despite the lack of games, Butler was called up the Republic of Ireland team by Mick McCarthy and made his senior international debut in the 3-0 win against Finland.
Butler left Sunderland due to unspecified personal reasons, returning to Ireland and stating his intention to leave professional football. While Sunderland were initially sympathetic to his situation, he eventually threatened them with legal action for breach of contract.
Having reconsidered his future, Butler joined Dunfermline on trial, subsequently signing and making eight starts and six substitute appearances. However he wasn’t offered an extended contract and was forced to look elsewhere.
In 2005, Butler then joined Hartlepool United on a short-term contract. He made his debut against Blackpool. Butler made an impressive start to his Hartlepool career and scored his professional goal in the 3-0 win against Swindon. Butler then signed permanently for Hartlepool for 2005/6 season, but in the July 2006 signed for Swansea City FC following Hartlepool's relegation.
Thomas scored twice and won a penalty in Swansea's 3-0 win over Premiership side Sheffield United in the 2006/07 FA Cup third round tie at Bramall Lane.