Craig Brown obituary


Craig Brown, who has died aged 82, was essentially the most profitable supervisor of Scotland’s soccer staff in current occasions. He took the nationwide aspect to 2 main match finals, together with their final look on the World Cup stage, in France in 1998.

Brown was as near a universally well-liked determine as it’s doable to be within the aggressive world of soccer. Erudite, witty and unfailingly courteous, he was far faraway from the managerial stereotype of his period. Nonetheless, he additionally claimed to be “bilingual”, with a harder vocabulary reserved for the dressing-room.

Scotland performed within the opening sport of the 1998 match towards Brazil as holders, on the Stade de France. They arrived wearing kilts to empathise with the patriotic fervour within the stadium. Brown had consulted Bobby Robson, who had managed the good Ronaldo at Barcelona, about easy methods to cease him.

Robson’s reply was not encouraging. “You don’t. Simply don’t let him get the ball.” Scotland’s captain that day, Colin Hendry, recalled that because the groups lined up within the tunnel, Brown walked previous, noticed the Brazilians and informed his personal troops: “Simply take a look at their faces, lads. They’re panicking on the sight of you.”

Till the 74th minute, the sport remained tied, nevertheless it led to a 2-1 victory for Brazil. Scotland drew with Norway in Bordeaux however a noble marketing campaign led to anticlimax with a 3-0 defeat to Morocco in St-Étienne. Because it turned out, it will not have mattered, since Norway pulled off an unlikely victory over Brazil, and it was Morocco who swallowed the bitter capsule of successful however not qualifying.

Brown was born within the Corkerhill space of Glasgow, the son of Hugh, a PE teacher who was influential on Craig’s profession selections, and Margaret. After the struggle, his father’s employment took the household across the west of Scotland, earlier than they settled in Hamilton. Craig’s childhood hero was Dave Mackay, then of Hearts and later of Spurs.

Brown was uncommon in that he mixed his soccer profession, first as participant after which in administration, with one in training. He was headmaster of a major college in Lanarkshire then, for 17 years till 1986, a lecturer in major training at Craigie Faculty in Ayr.

As a participant he initially signed with Rangers (who despatched him on mortgage to a junior membership), earlier than going to Dundee and Falkirk, and later turning into assistant supervisor of Motherwell and part-time supervisor of Clyde. It was solely in his mid-40s, when he was appointed assistant nationwide coach by the Scottish Soccer Affiliation, that soccer grew to become his full-time occupation.

Dundee within the early Sixties have been managed by Bob Shankly, brother of Invoice. Brown was his first signing and when Dundee received the Scottish League in 1962, he made 9 appearances, which entitled him to a winner’s medal. It’s now exhausting to recall that this traditional Dundee aspect then reached the semi-final of the European Cup.

A recurring knee harm restricted after which ended Brown’s enjoying profession and he pursued his curiosity in teaching, gaining the mandatory badges, having additionally graduated with honours from Jordanhill Faculty and brought a BA by the Open College. He turned down full-time soccer roles within the pursuits of job safety, however lastly succumbed to an invite from Alex Ferguson to hitch his backroom staff for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Ferguson had taken over quickly following the sudden loss of life of Jock Stein, and when Andy Roxburgh grew to become Scotland staff supervisor that summer season, Brown stayed on as assistant and under-21 supervisor. Roxburgh and Brown made an incredible pairing, each earlier than their time within the science of teaching. Scotland certified for the 1990 World Cup in Italy and the European Championship finals in 1992.

3072 - Craig Brown obituary
Brown watches on throughout a European Championships qualifier towards Lithuania at Hampden Park, Glasgow, October 1999. {Photograph}: Alex Livesey/Getty Photographs

When he succeeded Roxburgh, after Scotland did not qualify for the 1994 World Cup finals, Brown led them to Euro 1996 in England, successful seven out of 10 matches to qualify. Within the group phases, they did not progress solely when Patrick Kluivert scored a late purpose for the Netherlands towards England to make it a 4-1 defeat, giving the Dutch second place as a result of that they had scored extra objectives.

These relative glory days for Scotland’s nationwide staff ended with the 1998 qualification, and Brown left the position in 2001. It is just lately this standing has been recovered underneath Steve Clarke, who stated: “Craig led the best way in bringing sustained qualification to the lads’s nationwide staff, first as assistant to Andy Roxburgh after which in his personal proper. He was a scholar of the sport and I’m proud that I adopted in his footsteps by taking a Scotland staff again to a significant match.”

After leaving the Scotland job, Brown succeeded David Moyes at Preston North Finish who had simply missed promotion to the Premiership. Brown was standard with the Deepdale assist and credited with “steadying the ship” following the trauma of the membership’s near-miss and Moyes’s departure for Everton. After two seasons, he fell out with the chairman and so they parted firm.

He labored as a guide with Fulham and Derby, additionally briefly managing Motherwell, in addition to holding Uefa and Fifa roles. In 2010, he grew to become supervisor of Aberdeen when the membership was threatened with relegation, and he retired three years later. He remained a director and latterly ambassador for the Pittodrie membership, and a welcome adornment of Scottish soccer’s boardrooms.

Brown was an incredible raconteur and in fixed demand as a speaker. He was patron of Scottish Incapacity Sport and an envoy for Sports activities Chaplaincy UK, and was appointed CBE in 1999.

He’s survived by his spouse, Johan, whom he married in 1964, two sons, Hugh and John, and a daughter, Val, and 6 grandchildren.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here