Jim Brown (footballer, born 1908)
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|Date of birth||December 31, 1908|
|Place of birth||Kilmarnock, Scotland|
|Date of death||November 9, 1994(aged 85)|
|Place of death||Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Playing position||Wing forward|
|1928||Bayonne Rovers S.C.||4||(4)|
|1929||New York Nationals||1||(0)|
|1929-1930||New York Giants||14||(10)|
|Fall 1930||New York Soccer Club||24||(6)|
|Spring 1931||Brooklyn Wanderers||16||(6)|
|Fall 1931||Newark Americans||4||(2)|
|1948-1950||Greenwich High School|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
James "Jim" Brown (December 31, 1908 – November 9, 1994) was a Scottish American association football player who played for the United States men's national soccer team at the 1930 FIFA World Cup, scoring the only goal of the American team in their 6-1 semi-final loss to Argentina. He began his career in the American Soccer League before moving to England and then Scotland. After retiring from playing, he coached at the youth, senior amateur, and professional levels. He was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1986. He was the second player (by a few weeks) to have played on both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur First Teams. In all, during his US and UK career, he scored over 270 goals.
While born in Kilmarnock, Brown grew up in Troon, the oldest of four brothers, two who played professionally as goalkeepers. His brother, Jock, also earned a cap with Scotland and won the 1939 Scottish FA Cup with Clyde FC, while youngest brother Tom played professionally in England for Ipswich Town. Alex Lambie, the uncle of James, John and Tom, was an imposing professional centre-half footballer and captain for Partick Thistle in the 1920s. Brown became an apprentice riveter at the Troon Shipyard when he was 13. In 1920, his father deserted the family and moved to the United States. In 1927, Brown left Scotland to search for his father, settling in Westfield, New Jersey and finding work on the production floor of a metal box factory.
Brown never played organized football in Scotland as a youth. When he arrived in the United States, he joined the Bayonne Rovers, a local amateur team in the spring of 1928. They were a top team in the Northern New Jersey League and had playing for them, Henry Carroll, known as "Razzo", the 16 year old US Olympic Team striker, who participated in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. Brown, known in the local Bayonne Courier newspaper as "Red" or Ginger", was the fiery thatched youngster who scored a goal in every match he played with Bayonne. In September 1928, he signed with the Newark Skeeters of the American Soccer League. However, the league suspended the Skeeters in September 1928 as part of the "Soccer War". Newark then joined two other suspended ASL teams and several others from the Southern New York Soccer Association to form the Eastern Professional Soccer League. Brown played seventeen games and scoring seven goals with Newark in the ASL and an unknown number in the EPSL, or ESL as it was better known. However, at the end of the season, he returned to the ASL when he signed with the New York Nationals.
In 1930, Brown was called up to the U.S.national team as it prepared for the 1930 FIFA World Cup. At the time, national team requirements were less stringent and Brown was selected based on his father’s, not his own, citizenship. Brown played all three U.S. games in the cup as the team went to the semifinals, scoring the only goal for the US in the 89th minute. Following their elimination, the U.S. played a series of exhibition games throughout South America against professional and regional teams in Uruguay and Brazil. Brown scored one goal in the last exhibition game against Botafogo F.C. in Brazil, a 4–3 loss to Brazil that counted as a full international. Those were the only four caps with the U.S. national team.
United States' goal tally first
|1.||26 July 1930||Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay||Argentina||1–6||1–6||1930 FIFA World Cup|
In 1930, Brown became a professional with the New York Giants, scoring 10 goals in 14 appearances. Soon after, he was called into the U.S. national team for the 1930 World Cup. On his return from Uruguay, he rejoined his team, now under new ownership and known as the New York Soccer Club, where he scored 6 goals in 24 appearances. He then moved to the Brooklyn Wanderers for the 1931 spring season with his old teammate, Razzo Carroll, where James scored 6 goals in 16 appearances. Brown moved to the Newark Americans for the fall 1931 season, but by this time the ASL was collapsing, and he only played 1 game and not scoring at all. Because of the decline, he decided to return to the UK in August 1932.
Based on his success in the U.S. both professionally and with the national team, several teams from both England and Scotland expressed an interest in signing Brown. As the ship he was on neared the dock, representatives from these teams awaited him. However, Scott Duncan, manager of Manchester United, took a tugboat out to the liner and signed Brown on board. Brown played from 1932 to 1934 with United, scoring 17 goals in 40 games, the second highest on the team. Notably, he scored directly from a corner kick in his first game against Grimsby Town within 90 seconds. While Brown scored regularly with United, he alienated the team management with his outspoken support for a players’ union. On May 6, 1934, before United transferred Brown to Second Division Brentford for 300 £, he scored the only goal in the Manchester (Senior) Cup final match against cross-town rival, Manchester City, at Old Trafford, 1 - 0. Unfortunately, his union activities quickly soured his relationship with the Brentford's team ownership. He made only one appearance for the first team, but scored 53 goals in 74 games for the reserves and won the 1934/35 London Challenge Cup with the side.
In September 1936, newly promoted, First Division Brentford sent Brown to Tottenham Hotspur for a transfer fee of 1,000 £. In his one season there, he played only four first team games, but scored twenty-one goals in thirty games for the reserves. In July 1937, Brown moved to the semi-professional Guildford City of the Southern Football League. Over his two seasons with Guildford City, Brown scored 148 goals in 150 games and helped the club win the Southern League title during the 1937-38 season. During the 1938-'39 season, Brown recorded 5 Hat-Tricks and scored 7 goals (6 of them headers) in one game vs Exeter City. He was loaned out to Brentford, the First Division team, to play center-half in the FA Cup match against Fulham, where he scored a goal. He left Guildford City at the end of the 1939/1940 season, because of increasing cartilage problems. Guildford City suspended all League play in September 1940. He then moved north to finish his career with Scottish First Division club Clyde, signing in November 1940 and played two matches with his brother John against Queen's Park in February and March 1941. Just like his debut with Manchester United, he scored directly from a corner kick. He retired due to injuries soon after. Clyde finished in second place, only three points behind eventual champions Rangers during the 1940–41 season.
In 1948, he returned to the United States where he became the head coach of the Greenwich High School soccer team. Two years later, he joined several other men in forming the Connecticut State Amateur League as well as Greenport United. When his son, George began playing for Greenport, Brown joined him for two seasons as a player-coach. He then coached the Brunswick School soccer team for twenty-two years and the Elizabeth Falcons of the American Soccer League from 1956 to 1958. Brown was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Connecticut State Hall of Fame in 2000. His son George was inducted in 1995.
Having retired from playing professionally in 1939, Brown resumed his trade as a riveter in the Troon Shipyard.
FIFA World Cup, US National Team, 3rd Place: 1930
Manchester United Reserves
- Manchester (Senior) Cup Champions 1933/1934
- Southern Football League (1): 1937-38
- Mayor of Aldershot Cup: 1939
- Surrey Combination Cup: 1938 - 1940
US National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction: 1986
- Courtney, Barrie (29 June 2003). "USA - Details of International Matches 1885-1969". RSSSF.
- Jose, Colin (1998). American Soccer League, 1921-1931: The Golden Years of American Soccer. (Hardback). American Sports History Series #9. . Scarecrow Press. . pp. 544. . ISBN 0-8108-3429-4.
- Brentford Football Club History
- Haynes, Graham (1998). A-Z Of Bees: Brentford Encyclopaedia. Yore Publications. p. 82. ISBN 1 874427 57 7.
- Brentford F.C. Griffin Gazette versus Cambridge United 28/01/95. Quay Design of Poole. 1995. p. 26.
- FIFA.com. "1930 FIFA World Cup Uruguay ™ - Awards - FIFA.com". FIFA.com. Retrieved 2016-06-15. line feed character in
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