It was with sadness that we reported via our twitter feed on Tuesday the death of former Sandgrounder Sandy Brown. Sandy’s name will forever be etched into the history books as a title winner not only for Southport (Fourth Division 1972/73) but also for neighbours Everton (1969/70).
A tough tackling left-back, he joined the Toffees from Partick Thistle in 1963 and went on to make 263 appearances for them. He was a full-back who liked to get down the wings and was famously called upon as an auxiliary forward in a European Cup Winners’ Cup second round second leg tie against Real Zaragoza in 1966, striking the only goal to earn Everton a 1-0 win.
On the subject of goals it is a shame that Brown is perhaps best known for an own goal in a Merseyside derby with Liverpool in what turned out to be Everton’s only defeat in a title winning season.
Everton Chairman Bill Kenright spoke to the Liverpool Echo earlier this week.
He said: “To me Sandy always seemed like a true working class hero. The kind of player that doesn’t seem to be around much any more.
“A real utility player who could and did play everywhere on the pitch!
“The fact that he is remembered by Evertonians such as me as a great full-back is a true testament to his determination and spirit. On the field and off he never gave up. I obviously met him on several occasions as a former player.
“He was always hugely humble and seemed genuinely touched and even astonished at the warmth Evertonians still had for him.
“It truly was his club. He suffered a lot in his later years and we all pray he has now found a permanent position in his blue and white palace in the sky.”
Another of Brown’s claims to fame was that whilst with Everton he played in every position – including Goalkeeper. In the days where only one substitute was allowed, versatility was a great asset and even on the rare occasion that Brown failed to make the starting eleven, he was the first player in the mind of the manager when it came to filling that all important substitute spot.
Whilst with Everton Brown even played against Southport in the famous FA Cup game at Haig Avenue. Coming on as a substitute for Ray Wilson he was involved in a crunching tackle with Southport’s Stuart Shaw which contributed to him needing to be substituted later in the game.
Upon leaving Everton Sandy joined Shrewsbury Town for whom he made a further 21 appearances before Southport Manager Jimmy Meadows picked him up for the Sandgrounders. He made 19 appearances for the Sandgrounders, sharing the left back duties with Derek Ryder, in a season that saw Southport lift their highest honour to date, the Fourth Division championship.