WHO WORE 31 BEFORE BUTLAND?
Jack becomes the third goalkeeper to wear no.31 for the Reds, following Dubravka’s loan stint from the summer of 2022 to December. Nick Culkin is the only other stopper to have worn the jersey, donning it during the 1998/99 and 1999/2000 seasons.
Culkin is renowned for playing only 30 seconds of competitive football for United, coming on for Raimond van der Gouw in injury-time of our Premier League victory at Arsenal in 1999 and taking a goal-kick before the final whistle sounded.
Over the years, central midfielders have occupied the number more frequently, with Nemanja Matic (2017/18 to 2021/22), Bastian Schweinsteiger (2015/16 to 2016/17) and Marouane Fellaini (2013/14 to 2014/15) the three most recent occupants. Darren Fletcher (2001/02 to 2002/03) and David Jones (2003/04 to 2004/05) also wore it for the Reds.
Defenders Scott Wootton (2012/13), Corry Evans (2010/11), John Curtis (1996/97 to 1997/98) have also had it, defender William Prunier also did during his short stint at Old Trafford in the 1995/96 season. Our first no.31 after squad numbers were introduced in 1993/94 was winger Keith Gillespie, who also wore it for the 1994/95 campaign.