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Allan Brown

(Allan Duncan Brown) who was born in Leven on 12 October 1926 took over. As a player he had an outstanding career with East Fife appearing in two Scottish Cup Finals. Allan also played for Blackpool (157apps 68goals) Luton Town (151apps 51 goals and Portsmouth (69 apps 8 goals) He twice missed FA Cup Finals through injury whilst at Blackpool. His first job as a manager was as a player manager with Wigan Athletic and he then went on to manage Luton Town, Torquay, Bury and Nottingham Forest. When he took over at Haig Avenue in January 1976 the club had just 5 points from 23 games. Under Brown’s leadership they picked up 21 points in the latter half of the season, actually managing to go unbeaten in the last seven home matches. 
The revival was too late to stop another re-election vote but it did lift us off the bottom of the table to finish above Workington. Gates doubled between Christmas and Easter with fans responding to the Brown way of managing and playing. Unfortunately as the season ended Brown resigned to take over at Second Division Blackpool and he was unable to build on the foundation he had laid during his short stay at Haig Avenue. He was manager at Blackpool from May 1976 to February 1978 before having a spell as a coach in Kuwait. Brown returned to Haig Ave in the 1980-81 season with the club deep in crisis but left after only a few months in charge.

Allan Brown obituary
Footballer, manager and FA Cup finalist

Brian Glanville
The Guardian, Thursday 5 May 2011 18.48 BST
Allan Brown
Allan Brown, centre, playing for Luton against Norwich in the 1959 FA Cup semi-final. Photograph: EMPICS
The irony of Allan Brown’s impressive football career was that, in his prime with Blackpool, injury ruled him out of two FA Cup finals, and yet he played in a third, with Luton Town. It must have been especially galling for Brown, who has died aged 84, to miss the 1953 final, the so-called Matthews final, nicknamed for the performance of Stanley Matthews that spurred Blackpool to beat Bolton 4-3, as he had broken a leg while helping his team reach Wembley, with a goal against Arsenal at Highbury in the sixth round.

The Arsenal goalkeeper, Jack Kelsey, later wrote about the incident in detail: “I came towards him as though we were a couple of knights on horseback, jousting in a tournament. He was there first, by a split second, shot just as I dived, and the ball passed under my body and into the net. No Wembley for us.” But there was to be no Wembley for Brown, either. “His left shin met my hip at heaven knows how many miles an hour, and it stopped him dead,” Kelsey wrote.

Born in the Fife mining village of Kennoway, Brown joined East Fife, then a club of substance, in 1944. Initially a wing-half before he excelled as an inside-left, he was a ball-player, scorer and notable athlete. With East Fife, he won his first three Scotland caps in 1950, against Switzerland, Portugal and France, scoring in all three games.

“I turned a rebel after deciding I wanted to play in English football. I worked at several jobs to keep myself trim and fit.” It was Blackpool who held off the challenge of several other leading clubs, paying what was then a record fee for a Scottish player, £26,500.

In early April 1951, a serious injury suffered against Huddersfield Town put Brown out of the 1951 FA Cup final, lost to Newcastle United. Brown went on to resume an impressive career with Blackpool and Scotland, for whom he eventually gained 14 caps. His international career ended in anticlimax at the World Cup of 1954 in Switzerland. The Scots lost their opening game 1-0 to Austria, and in their second match were annihilated 7-0 by Uruguay.

Brown played for Blackpool until 1957, when he was transferred to Luton Town, helping them to reach the 1959 FA Cup final, which they lost to Nottingham Forest. In 1961 he was transferred to Portsmouth and, two years after that, became the player-manager of non-league Wigan Athletic. Next, he returned to Luton Town as manager, and then to Torquay, Bury and Nottingham Forest, before being appointed by Blackpool in 1976. After two years, he took over at a club in Kuwait. His wife, Colleen, spoke bitterly about his time at Bloomfield Road: “Allan did not mind pressure if there was gratitude with it, but he got none of that at Blackpool.”

Yet the club reappointed him in 1981. Brown could not stop them descending to the Fourth Division and he left again a year later, though he continued to live in the town. He is survived by Colleen and their two daughters.

Allan Duncan Brown, footballer and football manager, born 12 October 1926; died 19 April 2011

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