Former professional soccer player and coach, Graham ‘Buster’ Charles Tutt died on 22 June 2022, in Marietta, Georgia
Graham was born in London on 27 August 1956. From humble beginnings, he discovered his love of soccer on disused wasteland near the council estate where he was raised and the boggy playing fields of southeast London and was quickly spotted as a goalkeeper of outstanding promise. He made his name as a professional soccer player, playing in goal for Charlton Athletic FC in London, England making his first team debut in March 1974. before an eye injury sustained in front of millions of people on television stalled his meteoric rise. He had been tipped for international honours.
In October 1980, Graham joined Atlanta Chiefs in Georgia. It was a move that would change his life and where he would settle after meeting the love of his life, wife Liz and starting a family.
After his playing career finished, he began running a summer soccer school at Kennesaw College which led to a network of soccer clinics at various elementary and middle schools in the area.
In the early 1990s, Graham began working as a head coach at Life University, a leading chiropractic college in Marietta. In 2012, Graham was inducted into the Georgia Soccer Hall of Fame in recognition of his contribution to the sport at both grassroots and professional level, working with people of all ages and especially encouraging women and girls to get involved. At the ceremony, it was remarked how Graham had covered every aspect of the game in Atlanta between 1980 and 2012.
In 2011, Graham was approached by British journalist and author Matt Eastley, a lifelong Charlton fan to write an article about his life. A great friendship developed and in 2021, Graham’s autobiography, the aptly-titled Never Give Up, was published.
Graham was generous enough to donate a signed copy of his book to The Father Christmas Cup last year for the raffle. You can find it on Amazon.
An over 45’s England v Ireland game will be played in the Silverbacks Stadium in recognition of Graham’s contribution to the Atlanta soccer community that will kick off immediately following the England v France World Cup quarter final game.