Portland Community Squash Dedicates Court to Grand Master Charlie Butt

Charlie Butt (center) surrounded by members of the Portland squash community.

Charlie Butt (center) surrounded by members of the Portland squash community.

by David Suiter

On April 1, 2017, a group of squash enthusiasts gathered at Portland (Maine) Community Squash to dedicate the Bowdoin squash court to Charlie Butt, a legendary figure at Bowdoin College and the national squash scene. At 92 years old, Charlie is still playing doubles, continuing a remarkable career as athlete, coach, mentor and championship squash player.

In China, Charlie played on both the Chinese Olympic basketball and swim teams before he escaped from Communist China in 1951 and went to Springfield College using a ten-year-old letter of acceptance to enroll. There, he earned his BA and MA degree while swimming, playing soccer, tennis and winning a national championship in volleyball. After many years coaching at Springfield, Charlie moved to Bowdoin College where he was the much beloved and respected soccer and swim coach. Taking up squash at a late age, Charlie’s exceptional athletic ability and mental acuity was perfectly suited to the squash game and he soon was winning tournaments. During his career, he won 22 national championships and one world title in both singles and doubles.

Although a fierce competitor, Charlie was always a gentleman on and off the court never deviating from the highest ideals of sportsmanship and fair play inherent in the game. It was a well-deserved honor to name a court after one of the game’s greatest ambassadors, Charlie Butt.

In 2011, Butt was added to the A. Carter Fergusson Grand Master Honor Roll.

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