Armfield’s tribute to Pool great Brown

Allan Brown
Allan Brown
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ALLAN Brown, the player who missed out on Blackpool’s 1953 FA Cup glory after breaking his leg while scoring in the quarter-final against Arsenal, has died at the age of 84.

Jimmy Armfield paid tribute to the former Seasiders attacker and manager as “one of the fittest” men he ever shared a pitch with and described his death as “another sad moment for the club”.

Brown had two spells as manager at Bloomfield Road.

In the first, between 1976 and ’78, he famously guided the Seasiders to the top of the old Second Division.

But midway through that season, he was sacked after Pool hammered Charlton 5-1 and Blackburn 5-2.

In a ‘it could only happen at Blackpool’ moment, Brown was given the boot after a disagreement with the board. With the fans fuming, Pool went into freefall and were relegated.

It was the first time Pool had dropped out of the top two tiers and it was almost 30 years later that Simon Grayson took them back in.

A proud Scot, Brown began his career at East Fife after the Second World War and joined Blackpool in 1950 for £26,500 (at that point the largest fee received by a Scottish club).

He notched up more than 150 appearances, scoring 68 goals, in a six-year spell at Bloomfield Road and would have played many more games but for injury.

“Browny was a great lad,” recalled Armfield. “When he first arrived he took a while to get used to the pace of the game. But within a very short space of time he’d really become a powerhouse inside forward.

“He scored that dramatic goal in the sixth round of the FA Cup at Arsenal in 1953, breaking his leg in the process and missing the final, which was a tragic shame for him personally.

“But he recovered well and I remember a game again Wolves in the mid-50s, when he and Dave Durie absolutely ripped them apart. Browny ran amok – he was capable of doing that.

“If our trainer wanted any player to get fit, he would always send them out running with Browny. He was one of the fittest athletes I’ve ever known.”