The remarkable life and times of Scotland’s oldest living international footballer, 94-year-old Bobby Brown, are the subjects of a new book.
His links to Perthshire – he spent nearly nine years as manager of St Johnstone – are recounted as “the happiest days” of his life in the book along with his early career as a goalkeeper and spell as manager of the Scotland team.
Author Jack Davidson spent many hours interviewing Mr Brown at his home in Helensburgh and says he had a fascinating career.
“By chance I heard an interview with him on the BBC and realised that in a football sense he had disappeared from public view,” said Mr Davidson, 67, a retired QC who is a member of the British Society of Sports History.
He was given access to Mr Brown’s scrapbooks which brought to life a career which saw him play a role in many famous footballing events and rub shoulders with the game’s greats.
Bobby Brown: A Life in Football, From Goals to the Dugout, charts his progress from schoolboy playing for Queens Park to Scottish international goalkeeper, his honours-laden Rangers career and his eventual induction to the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.
An undoubted highlight in his career was his stunning start to the Scotland manager job. Appointed only two months earlier, on April 11 1967 the team beat the reigning world champions, England, at Wembley.
“It was his first full international in charge and England’s first loss in 20 games,” said Mr Davidson.
“To defeat the world champions, Scotland’s most intense and enduring rivals, in these circumstances was an outstanding achievement, like winning the Grand National on your debut ride or running a four-minute mile in your first race.
“The date is enshrined in Scottish football history as one of its most memorable days.”
This dream start to his new job is explored in the book along with a host of anecdotes including signing Alex Ferguson as a St Johnstone player for the princely sum of £300.
“He never forgave me for that, as he thought he should have been given more, but that was the going rate at the time,” said Mr Brown.
The book will be published by Pitch Publishing Ltd on July 20.