John Butcher (born 3 July 1991) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Port Adelaide Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He was the earliest of the three Port Adelaide players drafted in the first round in the 2009 AFL Draft (he went at pick #8). Butcher's younger brother Danny was drafted to Port Adelaide as part of the Rookie Draft in 2011 at pick 21.
Originally from Maffra, Victoria, Butcher is a versatile key position prospect with great agility and pace for his size. Butcher is an excellent contested mark and has been noted for his "clean hands". He was extremely impressive at the AFL Draft Camp with his speed (2.99 sec over 20 m) and repeat sprints (24.88 sec) being in the top 28 per cent of all players. He kicked 40 goals for the year for Gippsland Power and Vic Country in 16 games. He was a Vic Country Under 18 representative in both 2008 and 2009, including kicking three goals against Vic Metro in 2009. Butcher is also an AIS-AFL Academy graduate. He was widely tipped to be the first key-position player to be selected in the 2009 draft.
Due to injuries and the time needed to develop key position players, Butcher didn't debut until Round 21 of 2011, when Port Adelaide were defeated by Hawthorn by a club-record 165 points. To date it remains the worst defeat suffered by any player in his debut match in VFL/AFL history. In his second match against Western Bulldogs he kicked 6 straight goals from six disposals. However, following Butcher's promising debut season which saw him nicknamed by supporters as 'The Future', Butcher has since struggled to establish himself as an AFL player.
Butcher played the first three games of the 2014 season for an underwhelming return of two goals before being returned to the SANFL where he played out the remainder of the season. He finished the season as the leading goalkicker for the Magpies with 32 majors.
Butcher's 2015 season start was also a struggle as he'd managed only indifferent form in the SANFL, had played just the one AFL match in Round 1 and looked odds on to be delisited at the end of the season. However, with Jay Schulz being a late exclusion in Round 20, Butcher came in against Greater Western Sydney and played the final four matches of the AFL season. Butcher's marking in the final two matches of the season was sublime gathering 6 contested marks and 7 marks inside 50 against Gold Coast and Fremantle. His end of season form was rewarded with a one year contract offer for 2016. He was delisted at the conclusion of the 2016 season and subsequently signed to play football for Central Districts in the SANFL in 2017.