Facts:

• LeRoy (pronounced LeROY) Butler was born July 19, 1968, in Jacksonville, Florida. After his parents separated, he and his four siblings were raised by their mother (Eunice) who worked as a secretary and later as a nurse. The family lived in a small apartment in the crime-infested Blodgett Homes housing project on Jacksonville’s west side

 

• Butler spent the majority of his childhood in a wheelchair and wearing leg braces. Doctors didn’t think he would ever walk normally. By accident, Butler learned that he could walk at the age of 10, and soon became the fastest runner in the neighborhood.


• Butler starred at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, FL, 1983-85, and at Florida State University, 1987-89. He was drafted in the second round (48th overall) by the Green Bay Packers in 1990; became Packers’ starting cornerback, 1991; starting strong safety for Packers, 1992.


• As a three-year starter at Florida State, Butler recorded totals of 194 tackles and nine interceptions. Nearly 95 of those tackles and seven of the interceptions came in his senior year alone.


• His awards include: Prep All-America, 1985; AP and UPI All-America at Florida State University, 1989; first team All-Pro, 1993, 1996, and 1997. Butler also received a host of other honors including: Pro Football Weekly, Sports Illustrated, Sporting News, and Football Digest; he was hosen to All-NFC teams by United Press International and Football News; and he was named to the Pro Bowl roster as an alternate, replacing an injured player.


• During the 1993 season, Butler emerged as a star in the NFL, and the undisputed leader of the Packers’ defensive secondary. Named the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player, Butler intercepted six passes and made 111 tackles.


• During his 12 seasons with the Packers, Butler recorded 953 tackles, 38 interceptions, 553 return yards, 12 fumble recoveries, 3 defensive touchdowns and 20 1/2 sacks. He led or tied for the team lead in interceptions in five different seasons. He was the first defensive back in NFL history to gain entrance in the 20 Sack/20 Interception Club.


• Butler is responsible for creating the “Lambeau Leap,” now a Packer tradition. When he jumped into the stands after returning a fumble for a touchdown against the Los Angeles Raiders during a 1993 home game, this now famous tradition was coined. On a second-down swing pass to running back Randy Jordan, Butler forced a fumble that was recovered by Reggie White at the Raiders' 35 yard-line. After running with the ball for 10 yards, White lateraled to Butler, who ran the remaining 25 yards into the end zone and then made a spontaneous leap into the arms of fans in the south bleachers. The Packers went on to win 28-0 to clinch what would be the first of six consecutive playoff berths.


• Butler’s outspoken, exuberant style both on and off the field made him popular among teammates, fans, and reporters. A broken shoulder blade sustained while tackling Atlanta Falcons running back Jamal Anderson in the 2001 season forced him into retirement just before the 2002 season when it was discovered it had not healed properly.

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