Butt ends disappointing Hong Kong stint

Updated: 14 May 2011 10:44 IST

Former Manchester United and England star Nicky Butt has returned to England after a lacklustre spell with Hong Kong's top side South China, the club said on Friday.

Hong Kong:

Former Manchester United and England star Nicky Butt has returned to England after a lacklustre spell with Hong Kong's top side South China, the club said on Friday.

Butt, 35, was lured out of retirement in January with the aim of propelling South China to glory in the domestic league and the regional AFC Cup.

"This is a new country for me and an exciting place... I can bring my children here," Butt had told AFP ahead of his move to the former British colony. "It ticks all the right boxes."

Butt, who won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Champions League winners medal with Manchester United, was expected to add some experience and pulling power to Hong Kong's first division.

But earlier this month, South China were dumped out of the AFC Cup and lost the league title to arch-rivals Kitchee. Their only hope of silverware is the Hong Kong FA Cup, with the semi finals coming up on Sunday.

A South China spokesman told AFP that Butt, who was understood to be on a match-by-match pay deal, had returned to England, without giving further details or specifying the reasons.

Among Butt's teammates in South China was former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman, 32, who sparked controversy earlier this month when he described the pan-Asian AFC Cup as "stupid" and "the worst tournament I have played in".

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