As part of the Christmas content on Severn Sport, Butler has invited some special guests to pick their all-time XIs, once again.

Today is the final day and the guest is Gloucestershire football legend, Ken Blackburn – who names his all-time Gloucester City U18s XI

If you missed yesterday’s post featuring Lee Smith’s all-time XI – check it out here!

Now for Blackburn’s XI:

Goalkeeper – Dave Evans – Great all round keeper. Could have gone on to play many games for the First Team, but played at a good level for the likes of Slimbridge and Tuffley Rovers.

Right Back – Sam Avery – Strong defender, both in the air and on the deck. Has gone onto have a good non-league career.

Left Back – Noah Smerdon – Chose not to take an academy place at West Brom and their loss was our gain. Got him down as left back, but likes to move forward.

Centre Back – Sam Ellis – Versatile player and could play at both centre back and centre midfield. Born leader and very clever.

Centre Back – Mark Pritchett – Another strong player. Likes a good tackle and a great reader of the game.

Right Midfield – Tom Webb – Need I say too much. Went onto be a City legend. We won our first trophy with him as Captain – the Giantkillers Cup, against none other than Cheltenham Town.

Centre Midfield – Matt Liddiard – Every team needs a “Lidds” type of player. Natural leader, strong, clever and a really top player.

Centre Midfield – Jack Twyman – Another clever centre midfielder. Rarely made the wrong decision on the ball, works hard and another top lad.

Left Midfield – Brett James – Who doesn’t like an old fashioned wide player, who not only takes players on, but also works hard defensively? A nightmare to mark in and around the area.

Striker – Joe Parker – Came through the City Youth setup from U12s and a prime example as to why you need an U18s team…not an American College Team. One of the quickest, natural goal scorers we have had

Striker – Lee Smith – Another player from the youth, who went onto become a club legend (or so he keeps telling me!). Another quick, natural goalscorer and great to have around the dressing room.


Luke Merchant
Dan Avery
Andy Varnham
Danny King
Tristan Haswell
Jamie Reid

Blackburn also added the following regarding his XI:

“I know some of my fellow coaches might not agree with my selections, but hey ho, as they say at this time of year.

Warren Evans, Shayne Bradley and Neil Mustoe. All without who our successes wouldn’t have been possible.”

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Butler’s final XI this year is his “Live XI of the 2023/24 season so far” featuring players who have appeared in the Team of the Month and Player of the Month shortlists so far this season:


Olivia Kosylowicz (Longlevens Ladies)
Connor Walters (Tuffley Rovers)
Ben Richards-Everton (Gloucester City)
Jack Beardsell (Longlevens)
Aston Stevens (Brockworth Albion)

Check out the full list of fixtures in and around Gloucestershire this Christmas right here

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