John Brown (footballer, born 1962)

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John Brown
John Brown in 2005.JPG
Brown in 2005
Personal information
Full name John Brown
Date of birth (1962-01-26) 26 January 1962 (age 57)
Place of birth Lennoxtown, Scotland
Playing position Defender / Utility player
Youth career
St Mirren Boys Club
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1984 Hamilton Academical 133 (11)
1984–1988 Dundee 114 (28)
1988–1997 Rangers 207 (14)
Total 454 (53)
Teams managed
1997–2006 Rangers (youth/reserve)
2008–2009 Clyde
2013–2014 Dundee
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John Brown (born 26 January 1962) is a Scottish former professional footballer who also worked as a manager. Brown played for Hamilton Academical, Dundee and Rangers, primarily as a central defender but also as a left full-back or defensive midfielder.

Brown was a first team regular for Rangers as they won eight consecutive Scottish League championships between 1988 and 1996. After retiring as a player, he became a coach and has managed Clyde and Dundee. Known for his combative playing style, he is often referred to by the nickname "Bomber".[1][2][3][4]

Playing career[edit]

Early years: Hamilton, Dundee[edit]

Born in Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire[2] and raised in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire,[1][4] Brown started his career at St Mirren Boys Club[3][2] before signing for Hamilton Academical,[4] where he played part-time whilst working as a welder.[2] One of his most notable contributions with the Accies was scoring a hat-trick in a 9–1 win over Berwick Rangers while playing at left back;[2][3] he stated that John Blackley, who was his teammate then manager at Hamilton, was an important influence on his early career.[4]

In summer 1984, Brown became a fully professional player when he moved on to Dundee, signing for manager Archie Knox for a fee of £40,000.[3] At Dens Park, Brown often found himself featuring in an attacking midfield role.[3] He quickly endeared himself to the supporters with the winning goal in a Dundee derby match which finished 4–3. In February 1985 he scored the goal which saw Dundee eliminate Rangers from the 1984–85 Scottish Cup in Glasgow,[2][3] and in November of the same year he scored all three in a 3–2 league victory over the same club in Dundee.[2][3] At the end of that season he was part of the Dark Blues team that defeated Hearts 2–0 on the final day[2] (setting up the first goal with a typically committed aerial challenge), allowing Celtic to overtake the Edinburgh club to take the title.[5]

Shortly after he had netted a winning goal against Rangers for a third time in September 1986,[3] Hearts made an approach to sign Brown, but he failed the medical examination having undergone several operations on his cartilage.[4][2] He also endured disappointment on the field that year, as Dundee United prevailed 3–2 over their local rivals in the semi-final of the 1986–87 Scottish Cup.[3][6] Over three-and-a-half seasons with Dundee, Brown scored 39 goals in 135 appearances,[3] and won the Forfarshire Cup.[2]


25-year-old Brown was signed by Rangers, the club he supported in childhood,[2][4][3] in January 1988 for £350,000;[3] he had played against the Glasgow club days earlier and been involved in a confrontation with player-manager Graeme Souness during the match.[2][4] He went on to be feature in 278 games for the Gers in several positions, scoring 18 goals;[4] along the way, as a squad player he managed to collect eight League titles, three Scottish Cups and three League Cups.[3][7] He played no part in the two finals which Rangers reached but did not win during his spell with the club (1989 Scottish League Cup Final, 1994 Scottish Cup Final).[7]

In the 1992–93 season, Brown played in 59 matches, partnering Richard Gough in central defence in many of them,[4] as the club won the domestic treble, went on a long unbeaten run[2][8] and came close to reaching the final of the Champions League.[9] Brown's final competitive match was the 1996 Scottish Cup Final which Rangers won 5–1 over Hearts.[10] He retired from playing in May 1997 after Rangers won their ninth consecutive title.

There was some controversy, with Brown once calling the fans of rivals Aberdeen "morons" in response to their behaviour and song choices during matches against Rangers.[11]

Despite his prolonged success at club level, he was never selected for Scotland.[12]

Coaching career[edit]

Rangers youths and Clyde[edit]

Brown took over as coach of Rangers' Under-18s in 1997 before moving on to coach the reserve team in 2003, replacing former teammate John McGregor. He left the Rangers coaching setup on 27 June 2006, weeks after the appointment of new manager Paul Le Guen.[13]

Brown was linked with the vacant Clyde job in June 2007, but lost out after the job was given to former Scotland captain Colin Hendry. On 21 November 2007, Brown was announced as the new manager of Dumbarton; the following day, however, it emerged that Brown had turned down the post due to personal reasons.[14]

Brown was appointed Clyde manager on 26 January 2008, succeeding Colin Hendry.[15] Brown's first game in charge came in a disappointing 3–1 defeat by Stirling Albion on 2 February 2008. He achieved his aim of keeping Clyde in the Scottish First Division via the playoffs and was given a contract until 2011 in December 2008.[16] After leading the club to only three wins in 15 games at the start of the 2009–10 season, Brown was sacked on 21 November 2009.[17]

Brown made an unsuccessful attempt to take control of Rangers from the Sevco consortium, led by Charles Green, in July 2012;[18] earlier he had spoken to the media regarding the problems at the club,[1] and made an passionate speech to a crowd of fellow supporters at the main entrance to Ibrox Stadium.[2]


Brown was appointed manager of Dundee on an interim basis in February 2013, with the club struggling to remain in the top division; the board described him as 'perfect' for the job.[19] His appointment was not well received by the fans, despite being fan favorite during his playing days for the club.[20] In his first game in charge, a 2–2 draw against St Johnstone, Brown praised his players, describing them as having great spirit.[21]

He experienced his first Dundee derby as manager in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup, which Dundee lost 2–1. After the match Brown was critical with the officials, claiming they were not doing their jobs.[22] Preparations for that match were disrupted when long-serving goalkeeper Robert Douglas reacted badly to Brown signing Steve Simonsen;[23] Douglas never played for the club again, and was voted the supporters' player of the year at the end of the season.[24] The feud between the two men continued for some years afterwards.[25][26]

Brown managed to get his first win in a 2–1 victory against St Mirren, and speaking to BBC Scotland's Jim Spence afterwards stated his belief that the club might have a chance of survival.[27] Brown was awarded Scottish Premier League Manager of the Month in April 2013 after securing four victories during the month,[28] but despite this upturn in results, Dundee were relegated to the new Scottish Championship.[29]

On 3 February 2014 it was announced that Brown had left his role as manager of Dundee after agreeing a severance package with the club.[29] Dundee were in a tie for first place in the 2013–14 Scottish Championship, behind Falkirk on goal difference, but the club acted to remove Brown after a run of three games without a win;[29] they would go on to win the division and secure promotion back to the top tier.[30]

He was later appointed as a club ambassador at Rangers,[2] and in 2017 took on a scouting role at the club.[31]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 3 February 2014.
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Clyde Scotland 26 January 2008 21 November 2009 136 38 32 66 156 215 −59 027.94
Dundee Scotland 23 February 2013 3 February 2014 39 18 8 13 58 41 +17 046.15
Total 175 56 40 79 214 257 −43 032.00




  1. ^ Did not play during in the 1996–97 season.
  2. ^ Did not play in the 1993 Scottish League Cup Final.




  1. ^ a b c "John Brown Speaks on Rangers Crisis". Daily Record / Hamilton Advertiser. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Interview: John Brown admits he cringes about his Ibrox rant". The Scotsman. 5 March 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Played for Dundee and Hamilton – John Brown". Dundee F.C. 18 August 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Big interview: John Brown". Rangers F.C. 6 May 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  5. ^ "How Albert Kidd became a Hibs and Celtic legend without playing for them". The Guardian. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Remembering Dundee United in 1986-87: 70 matches, two finals, no silverware". The Guardian. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Rangers player John Brown". Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Celtic 2–1 Rangers, Premier Division (contemporary newpaper match report scans)". The Celtic Wiki. 20 March 1993. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Robbed? Why Rangers could have been the first Champions League winners". Talksport. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Laudrup shatters Hearts". The Independent. 19 May 1996. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  11. ^ Grant, Michael (25 April 1999). "Bitter harvest the only return likely from Scotland's darkest fixture". Sunday Herald. p. 2. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
  12. ^ "Uncapped wonders". The Scottish Sun. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Coach Brown calls time on Rangers". BBC Sport. BBC. 27 June 2006.
  14. ^ "Brown u-turn over Dumbarton job". BBC Sport. BBC. 22 November 2007.
  15. ^ "Birthday boy Brown is Clyde boss". BBC Sport. BBC. 26 January 2008.
  16. ^ "Brown commits to Clyde until 2011". BBC Sport. BBC. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
  17. ^ ."Brown Leaves" Clyde FC website (21 November 2009)
  18. ^ "Rangers: John Brown to launch takeover campaign". BBC Sport. BBC. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  19. ^ "John Brown takes over as Dundee manager". BBC Sport. BBC. 23 February 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  20. ^ "Dundee fans' shock as club name ex-player John Brown as interim boss to succeed Barry Smith". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  21. ^ "Dundee: John Brown content with first game in charge". BBC Sport. BBC. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  22. ^ "Dundee boss John Brown upset by lead-up to United goal". BBC Sport. BBC. 3 March 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  23. ^ "Dundee derby: John Brown says injury forced him to drop 'legend' Rab Douglas". The Courier. 16 March 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  24. ^ "Rab Douglas is Sunsport's Dundee Player of the Year". The Scottish Sun. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  25. ^ "Raging Dundee boss John Brown: Don't sign keeper Rab Douglas because he is a disrespectful liar". Daily Record. 7 June 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  26. ^ "Rab Douglas insists he'll reveal truth behind John Brown fall out". The Scotsman. 14 December 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  27. ^ "Victory gives Dundee survival chance, says John Brown". BBC Sport. BBC. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  28. ^ "John Brown wins April's Manager of the Month award". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  29. ^ a b c Spence, Jim (3 February 2014). "Dundee: John Brown leaves manager post after talks". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  30. ^ "Dundee win Scottish Championship". The Scotsman. May 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  31. ^ "John Brown back at Rangers as Mark Allen unveils new scouting team". Daily Record. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2018.

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