Where are they now – Sam Butler (SPC 2016-21)

September 8, 2022

The College recently reconnected with Sam Butler (SPC 2016-21) who has had an action-filled year since finishing Year 12 last year after being recruited by the Hawks in the AFL and making his debut early in the season. Sam reflects on his time at SPC and how he “will always be a brother of the clover which I’m proud of”.


Sam Butler living his dream after debuting with the Hawks in the AFL in 2022.

Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?

Life after SPC for me has been a massive change after getting drafted. My first year has been awesome and a pleasure to get a few games in the AFL side, meeting a lot of new people and making connections outside of footy down in Melbourne.

Sam Butler playing against his brother Dan in the AFL.

Sam Butler with his family at his debut match for Hawthorn earlier this season.

What has this experience been like for you?

The experience of this has been great, obviously a huge difference to schooling life with routines and training etc. It’s also been a challenging year trying to adapt body wise to the loading with a few small injuries, but also selection pressure, not performing and all that. In saying that I have loved every minute of it and find it tough but rewarding.


What are your future ambitions?

I want to see where my footy can take me in the future and play footy for as long as I can, but also want to study uni on the side and try to find a good balance between footy and uni life. Still unsure as to what job after footy but will work through that as time goes by.

Do you have family ties with SPC?

My dad went to SPC a long time ago, my older brothers both went there and also most of my cousins in Ballarat area. SPC has been great for us Butlers throughout the years.


Sam Butler playing in the SPC BAS First XVIII premiership team in 2021.

What are your fondest memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?

I loved playing first 18 footy with all my mates. That was my favourite thing about SPC just all the mates you see every day and you take it for granted. Now that I’m out of school it’s hard to catch up with everyone but I still keep in contact and always will with a lot of people. Another great memorie was intense downball in year 12.

Sam Butler playing with his mates in the SPC First XVIII.

College Principal Steven O’Connor presents Sam Butler with the prestigious SPC Football Program’s John James Medal in 2021.

Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?

Definitely Howard Clark as many would say. Howie and myself created a great friendship over the years and just his impact he has on kids is amazing. He takes a lot of time and care to help everyone and just wants to make kids better people which he has to many. Special mentions go to Gia, fossy, cuey.

If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?

In school I always thought I want to get out of this place asap, but looking back all I want to do is go back. The friends you find for life and relationships you build every day, seeing your mates and bantering with them will be unmatched. I miss it that much there and will always be a brother of the clover which I’m proud of.

Sam Butler, pictured in his Year 12 class photograph in 2021.