Craig Brown (footballer, born 1940)

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Craig Brown
Personal information
Full name James Craig Brown
Date of birth (1940-07-01) 1 July 1940 (age 80)
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Playing position(s) Wing half
Youth career
Kilmarnock Amateurs[1]
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1957–1961 Rangers 0 (0)
1957–1958Coltness United (loan)
1960–1961Dundee (loan)
1961–1965 Dundee 14 (0)
1965–1967 Falkirk 17 (0)
Total 31 (0)
Teams managed
1977–1986 Clyde
1986–1993 Scotland U21
1993–2001 Scotland
2002–2004 Preston North End
2009–2010 Motherwell
2010–2013 Aberdeen
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

James Craig Brown CBE (born 1 July 1940) is a Scottish former professional football player and manager. After his playing career with Rangers, Dundee and Falkirk was curtailed by a series of knee injuries, Brown entered management with Clyde in 1977. Brown then coached various Scotland youth teams until he was appointed Scotland manager in 1993. He held this position until 2001, the longest tenure for a Scotland manager, and they qualified for the UEFA Euro 1996 and 1998 FIFA World Cup tournaments. Brown later managed Preston North End, Motherwell and Aberdeen. He retired from management in 2013 and was appointed a non-executive director of Aberdeen. Brown was awarded the CBE in 1999 for services to football.[2]

Early life[edit]

Brown was born in Glasgow, but brought up with two younger brothers in Troon, Rutherglen and Hamilton, moving with his father's career as a physical education teacher, later a senior advisor on the subject.[1] He was a keen golfer as well as watching Queen's Park and Hamilton Academical matches.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Educated at the former Hamilton Academy, Brown played for the school in Scottish schools competitions[1][3][4][5] and in youth international teams, before joining Rangers in 1957, being considered a top prospect;[1] he was initially farmed out to Coltness United to gain experience, and was selected for the Scotland Junior squad.[1] He failed to find a regular first team place at Rangers, with his progress halted by a knee injury and the arrival of Jim Baxter who played in the same position, and moved to Dundee on loan in October 1960.[1]


Brown was the first signing of Dundee manager Bob Shankly. Although knee surgery meant he barely played for the first team during his loan, the move was made permanent in the summer of 1961.[1] Brown always traveled with the Dundee first team squad but this was before substitutes were commonly used. Thus he didn't make a competitive appearance until November 1961, then waited until February 1962 for his league debut when captain Bobby Cox was injured.[1] Brown played in nine consecutive league games before becoming injured himself on 31 March in a 3–2 win against bottom placed Stirling Albion.[1][6] Dundee won the Scottish league title that season and Brown's nine appearances entitled him to a medal.[1] Brown stayed at Dundee for four and a half injury-affected years, making 16 total appearances for the Dark Blues[6] but playing no active part in the club's European Cup run, or the 1964 Scottish Cup Final which they lost to Rangers.[1] During that time he also completed a course in physical education and primary teaching at Jordanhill College,[1] and was also a member of the pop music group Hammy and the Hamsters formed by six Dundee players.[7]


Brown signed for Falkirk in 1965 on a part-time basis and went on to make 42 total appearances at Brockville.[citation needed] He was released in 1967 and signed for Stranraer, but his injured knee almost immediately required him to call time on his playing career, and he returned the signing-on fee he had received from the club.[1]

Managerial career[edit]


Brown quickly showed a keen interest in being involved in the coaching side of football and he became assistant manager of Motherwell in 1974. He got his first managerial job as part-time manager of Clyde in 1977, where he spent ten seasons – winning the Second Division championship in his first season – whilst also working as a primary school head teacher then a lecturer in primary education.


Brown returned to football full-time in 1986 when SFA Secretary Ernie Walker appointed him as assistant manager to the national men's senior team. Brown was also in charge of Scotland's youth teams. In 1989, he coached Scotland's Under-16s to the final of the 1989 FIFA U-16 World Championship and three years later coached the under-21s to the semi finals of the 1992 UEFA Under-21 Championship.

Brown was appointed as manager of Scotland in December 1993, having been caretaker manager for the games against Italy and Malta. Brown took Scotland to Euro 96 and the 1998 World Cup, but resigned in October 2001, having failed to take Scotland to Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup. He was replaced by German Berti Vogts.

Under Brown, Scotland beat England in the last ever Euro Championship qualifier at the old Wembley in 1999 by one goal to nil, although they lost the tie 2–1 on aggregate. He took charge of Scotland for 70 international matches, more than any other Scotland manager.

Preston North End[edit]

Brown then had a spell in club management when he was appointed as manager of Preston North End in April 2002, but left by mutual consent on 29 August 2004 after a poor start to the league campaign.[8] He later had a brief spell as football consultant at Derby County under former protégé Billy Davies, helping them win promotion to the Premier League in 2006–07.

In October 2008, sixty eight year old Brown was linked to the vacant managerial position with Scottish First Division side Dundee, but the job went to Jocky Scott.[9]


On 28 December 2009, it was announced that Brown would be taking charge of Motherwell, with Archie Knox as his assistant.[10] Brown and Knox established Motherwell in the top six of the Scottish Premier League during their time in charge.[11]


Brown, who was working without a contract at Motherwell, rebuffed an initial approach by Aberdeen on 8 December 2010.[11] He then had a change of heart after a second approach was made, and was appointed Aberdeen manager on 10 December.[12]

On 14 March 2013, Brown announced he was retiring from football management at the end of the 2012–13 season.[13] His retirement date was brought forward when Derek McInnes was appointed to the position on 5 April, with Brown accepting a position on the Aberdeen board.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Brown was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts by Abertay University in 2001. [15]

He has two brothers:[1] Jock was a football commentator, and Bob was the minister at Queen's Cross Parish Church in Aberdeen from 1984 until his retirement in 2008.[16] Brown's grandson and namesake, Craig, plays for Stirling University in the Lowland League.[17]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 6 April 2013
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Clyde Scotland 1977 1986
Scotland under 21 Scotland 1986 1993
Scotland[18] Scotland 1 November 1993 30 October 2001 70 32 18 20 045.71
Preston North End[19] England 29 April 2002 29 August 2004 106 36 30 40 033.96
Motherwell[19] Scotland 29 December 2009 10 December 2010 45 21 10 14 046.67
Aberdeen[19] Scotland 13 December 2010 6 April 2013 113 37 33 43 032.74







  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p The Game of My Life, Craig Brown, Kings Road Publishing, 2013, ISBN 9781782192695
  2. ^ "Sports stars top the list". BBC News. 12 June 1999. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  3. ^ Hamilton Advertiser, 21 May 2009
  4. ^ 'Every picture tells a story: Craig Brown, Part 1', Evening Times, 15 April 2004
  5. ^ 'The rise and rise of a well honoured manager', The Herald, 12 July 1999
  6. ^ a b Played for Dundee and Rangers – Craig Brown, Dundee FC, 25 February 2019
  7. ^ Hammy & The Hamsters - 1964, The Dundee Futba Shrine, 13 November 2008
  8. ^ "Brown leaves Preston post". BBC Sport. 29 August 2004. Retrieved 9 September 2007.
  9. ^ "Davies, Brown linked with Dundee". BBC Sport. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  10. ^ Brown given stint at Motherwell, BBC Sport, 29 December 2009
  11. ^ a b "Aberdeen name Craig Brown as new manager at Pittodrie". BBC Sport. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
  12. ^ "Aberdeen name Craig Brown as new manager at Pittodrie". BBC Sport. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
  13. ^ "Aberdeen boss Craig Brown to retire in the summer". BBC Sport. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  14. ^ Richard Gordon (5 April 2013). "Aberdeen boss Craig Brown to retire in the summer". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Evening Times (Glasgow, UK) 12 May 2002
  17. ^ "'Obviously we are not going to win it, but you never know'". BBC Sport. 22 November 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Managers: Scottish Football Association". Scottish Football Association. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
  19. ^ a b c "Craig Brown – manager". Soccerbase. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
  20. ^ "Motherwell manager Craig Brown aims high". BBC Sport. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Aberdeen manager Craig Brown wins SPL January award". BBC Sport. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  22. ^ "Aberdeen trio collect monthly SPL awards". BBC Sport. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2018.

External links[edit]