Preston Grasshoppers are very sad to hear of the death of former professional footballer Eddy Brown on 12 July aged 86.
Edwin “Eddy” Brown was an English footballer who played as a centre forward. He played professionally for a number of clubs including Preston North End, but the peak of his career was spent with Birmingham City during their most successful period in the 1950s. Over a professional career of nearly 400 appearances in the Football League, he scored at a rate of very nearly one goal every two games.
After his professional football career came to an end Eddy provided fitness coaching for Hoppers for a couple of seasons in the mid 1970’s, bringing his knowledge from professional sport to the amateur game.
He also came on the Preston Grasshoppers tour of Canada in 1994 where he was responsible for the warm ups before each game. The yell of “The names Brown not Clown” became the slogan of the tour.
Eddy also coached local football team Broughton Amateurs football club for a number of years to great success.
Eddy was married to Sheila and had 4 children including our own Eddie Brown, Vicky, Sam, Mark and lots of grandchildren. The condolences of all club members go out to the family.
Eddy Brown’s funeral is on Friday 20 July at 10am at Our Lady and St Edwards Church, Marlborough Drive, Fulwood, Preston. The celebration of his life will follow at Barton Grange.
The following is taken from Eddy’s Wikipedia page and briefly outlines his career in professional football.
Brown was born in Jutland Street, Preston, Lancashire and attended St Ignatius primary school in the town. He was a religious boy, and at the age of twelve began to attend the De La Salle Catholic college on Guernsey with a view to taking Holy Orders. He studied at the college for eight years, during which time the boys were evacuated to the mainland when the Germans invaded, a disruption which did not prevent Brown achieving four A levels (in English, French, Latin and History) and laying the foundations for his lifelong love of Shakespeare.
Famously, Eddy played in the FA Cup Final for Birmingham City in 1956, a final made famous when City’s German Goalkeeper Bert Trautman broke his neck.
When asked about his strengths on a football field, Eddy was quoted saying “I knocked in 237 league and cup goals during 16 years in the game. I didn’t pass the ball, I had no left foot at all, so out of those 237 about 234 went in with the right foot! I was no good in the air because at 5′ 9″ I wasn’t big enough — centre-halves in those days were about 6′ 9″!
Eddy became associated with being the first to celebrate scoring a goal. His trademark celebration was to shake hands with the corner flag, though he was also known to cuddle a policeman behind the goal or to remove a press photographer’s hat and throw it into the crowd.
The Times reported this on a game with which Eddy scored a hatrick
‘But out of it all there stood one very real personality — Brown. He underlined Birmingham’s authority. The world seems to be his friend. His enthusiasm is infectious and embraces all, from the policeman on the perimeter to the referee and enemy in the middle. He enjoyed himself as much as a shiny faced youth tobogganing down some slope on a tin tray.’
After leaving football Eddy turned to teaching and taught at Preston Catholic College where among his pupils was future Liverpool star Mark Lawrenson. When it became obligatory for teachers to be qualified, Brown enrolled at Durham University at the age of 54 where he acquired his teaching certificate, armed with which he taught French until his retirement.