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G.O.A.T #20: Don Butcher & Sheila Macintosh

Over the past month, we gave squash fans the chance to decide the greatest players in squash history as we took a look at the achievements and legacies of some of the most recognisable names ever to take to a squash court.

The votes are now in and from today we'll be announcing the results, from 20th place all the way down to first, when we will reveal the official GOAT.

In 20th position…

Men

Don Butcher
Nationality: English
British Open Titles: 2
British Open Finals: 4

Don Butcher was the first player to actually win the British Open men’s title in 1931.

The Englishman was a professional squash player based at the Conservative Club in London when he played in the first British Open final in December 1930. His opponent, Charles Read, a former English professional champion was designated Open champion at the initiation of the event, which was a ‘challenge’ event without any preliminary rounds (the final was played under a best-of-three format, which continued until 1947).

Butcher defeated Read in the first match at the Queen’s Club 9-6, 9-5, 9-5. He then won the second match at the Conservative Club 9-3, 9-5, 9-3 to claim the title and make the third match unnecessary.

In 1932, Butcher successfully defended his title against Charles Arnold, winning the first match at the Conservative Club 9-0, 9-0, 9-0 and the second match at the Bath Club 9-3, 9-0, 9-5.

However, Butcher was unsuccessful in his defence of the Championship in 1933 against Egyptian F.D. Amr Bey and similarly unsuccessful in his challenge against Amr in 1935.

Butcher was considered a very innovative player in his time. He deviated from the conventional up and down the wall style adopted by most players in his era, making full use of boasts, lobs, drop shots and reverse angles, as well as cultivating the serve. His lack of stamina during long matches was considered to be one of his main weaknesses, however, and this gave the athletic Amr Bey a key advantage over Butcher on the occasions they played.

Women

Sheila Macintosh
Nationality: English
British Open Titles: 1
British Open Finals: 6

Sheila Macintosh was the 1960 British Open winner.

She was an English squash player who won the tournament when she defeated Fran Marshall in the final after losing in five previous finals to Janet Morgan in 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958 and 1959.

In addition to winning the British Open, she also won the Massachusetts Women’s Hardball Championships in 1959 and 1963.

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