Butcher was firmly embedded as one of England’s premier Test batsmen either opening or in his favoured number three position.
He comes from good pedigree as his father Alan Butcher played many seasons for Surrey and Glamorgan and represented England in the 1980s.
Butcher junior made his county debut for Surrey in 1991 against a Glamorgan side which included his father but it was not until 1996 that he made a big breakthrough in the county game.
Scoring over 1,500 runs which included three centuries, he averaged over 50 and was awarded his county cap which led to his selection for the England A tour of Australia.
His Test debut came the following summer against the touring Australia side at Edgbaston and he acquitted himself well with a determined second-innings 87.
Despite another half-century at Old Trafford he found himself discarded before the end of the series in an England team that featured many permutations throughout the summer.
His form dipped throughout the tour of the West Indies in 1997-98 and was not helped by his exposure to the notorious Sabina Park pitch in the first abandoned Test, although he did play a composed innings in the third Test to guide England home.
The Surrey left-hander recorded his first Test match hundred in 1998 against South Africa at Leeds as his innings of 116 out of 230 gave England the series and Butcher the man-of-the-match award.
Another century was recorded in Brisbane during the Ashes tour but Butcher’s form fluctuated until 2001 when he was called up during an injury crisis, and against Australia at Edgbaston he scored 38 and 41 against a formidable attack.
ln the next Test he top-scored with 83 but again Headingley would see him at his best. Set over 300 to win on the last day, Butcher blazed his way to 173 not out as England took their only win of the series with a six-wicket victory.
He also figured highly in England’s only Test win of the 2002/03 Ashes tour when, in the fifth Test at Sydney, another big hundred ensured England would not return winless.
Further centuries followed against Zimbabwe and South Africa during the summer of 2003 and he was part of the squad which secured a famous 3-0 Test series success against West Indies in the Caribbean the following year.
He featured in the 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand but then suffered whiplash in a minor car accident and then a thigh injury which ruled him out of the Test series against West Indies.
Despite still being classed as one of England's key batsmen and receiving a central contract from the ECB, Butcher was named as Surrey's new captain at the end of the 2004 season.
He returned to the England side for the first Test on the winter tour of South Africa and made 79 in his first innings back, but his comeback lasted only two games before a sprained left wrist forced him to miss the third Test in Cape Town, when England's 13-match unbeaten run was finally ended.
Butcher then failed a fitness test ahead of the fourth Test in Johannesburg and was ruled out for the rest of the series.
He missed the majority of the 2005 domestic season after his wrist injury needed an operation and then a steroid injection although he did return to lead Surrey in the latter half of the campaign and was retained as captain for 2006 after signing a two-year contract extension.
He led Surrey out of Division Two in 2006 and then into fourth place in the table in 2007 after they had been threatened with relegation for much of the season.
Butcher scored two hundreds in the 2007 campaign, including an innings of 179 in his tally of 752 runs.
He topped the club's batting averages for the Friends Provident Trophy, with 206 runs at 68.66 in five matches.
An excellent start to the 2008 campaign saw Butcher score a double-hundred, but a knee operation kept him out for much of the season.
Away from cricket, Butcher is known for his musical talents and played at the memorial service for his Surrey team-mate Ben Hollioake who tragically died in a car accident in 2002.
The left-hander eventually announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in August 2009 having struggled all summer with an ongoing knee problem.