Paul Buckle played for Exeter City in four separate spells, the last as player-coach. He then went into management enjoying early success with Torquay United before later working in the United States.
Paul began his career as an apprentice at Brentford turning professional in July 1989. After 57 league games for the Bees, and a short loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers, Paul joined Torquay United in February 1994 where he was to make 59 league appearances.
Paul first signed for Exeter City in October 1995 and, in his one season, appeared in 22 league games scoring twice. However, with the Grecians suffering financial problems, Paul was released in May 1996.
He then had a short stint at Northampton Town, where he failed to make the first-team, before a similarly unproductive return to Wycombe Wanderers and an altogether more productive stay at Colchester United between November 1996 and July 1999. Making 110 league and play-off appearances, Paul helped Colchester to promotion when playing in the 1998 Division Three play-off final at Wembley against Torquay United.
In July 1999 Paul signed for Exeter City for a second time making his first appearance against Hull on 7 August 1999 and going on to play 36 league and cup games in his first season, 43 in his second and 28 in his third. Scoring five league goals in the process Paul was released in May 2002.
Paul then dropped into non-league for the remainder of his playing career initially with Aldershot Town and later Weymouth. Then in December 2004, apparently without pay, Paul played four more games for Exeter City - the last falling on 1 January 2005 - whilst coaching the club’s youth players. He then took the option of registering with Tiverton where he was to play twelve games between 3 January 2005 and 19 March 2005. Next, on 30 March 2005, it was announced that Paul was returning to Exeter City for an unprecedented fourth spell, this time as player-coach. Manager Alex Inglethorpe told the Express and Echo: "Paul is coming onto the management staff. His playing abilities on the field are something that are very important." As it transpired Paul was to play a further 66 league and cup games for Exeter City, the last of which was against Morecambe in March 2007. He continued his management/coaching role at the club to become assistant manager under Paul Tisdale during his own final playing season.
Paul finally left Exeter City in June 2007 to become manager of the recently-relegated Torquay United where he was to spend four years reaching the FA Trophy final in 2008, losing a play-off semi-final to Exeter in 2008, gaining promotion to the Football League through the play-offs in 2009 and making the League Two play-off final in 2011.
Paul left to manage Bristol Rovers in May 2011 where he enjoyed less success before moving on to Luton Town in April 2012. After leaving Kenilworth Road in 2013 Paul worked at an academy in New York before briefly managing Cheltenham Town during the middle part of 2014/15.
Aside from a spell as an assistant coach to Southampton’s under-23 side, Paul therafter worked in the United States firstly with Sacramento Republic and and later as a self-employed football consultant based in California working as a technical adviser to the USL (the USA’s second and third tier league run by Jake Edwards, a former Exeter City teammate) and to clubs such as Hartford Athletic and San Diego Loyal. He married Rebecca Lowe, formerly of Setanta Sports, who has worked in the United States hosting NBC’s Premier League coverage.
League 183; Cups 19 (202)