Phil Brown (footballer, born 1959)

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Phil Brown
Brown in 2005
Personal information
Full name Philip Brown[1]
Date of birth (1959-05-30) 30 May 1959 (age 61)[1]
Place of birth South Shields, England
Position(s) Right back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1985 Hartlepool United 217 (8)
1985–1988 Halifax Town 135 (19)
1988–1994 Bolton Wanderers 256 (14)
1994–1996 Blackpool 44 (5)
Total 652 (46)
Teams managed
1999 Bolton Wanderers (caretaker)
2005–2006 Derby County
2006–2010 Hull City
2011 Preston North End
2013–2018 Southend United
2018 Swindon Town
2018–2019 Pune City
2019–2020 Hyderabad
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Philip Brown (born 30 May 1959) is an English former professional footballer, coach and current manager, who most recently managed Indian Super League side Hyderabad FC. As a player, Brown was a right-back who made over six hundred league appearances in an eighteen-year career, but never made it to the top flight. However, as a manager, he became the first to lead Hull City to the top division in their 104-year history, winning the Championship play-offs in 2008 after a 1–0 win against Bristol City at Wembley.

Since 2011, Brown has appeared as a match summariser on BBC Radio 5 Live as well as the station's sport panel show Fighting Talk, winning for the first time on 5 May 2012.

Playing career[edit]

Born in South Shields, County Durham[1] and educated in the North East,[2] Brown started his career playing Sunday league football for South Shields side Red Duster in the South Shields Business Houses League, in the same team as Ray Dunbar and Bobby Davison, who went on to play for Derby County and Leeds United.

As a professional, Brown played at full back for many years with Hartlepool United, followed by a spell at Halifax Town (with fellow north-easterner Billy Ayre at both clubs and under him at the latter),[3] In 1988, he moved to Bolton Wanderers, winning the Associate Members Cup in 1989.[4]

Brown joined Blackpool in 1994, playing under Sam Allardyce until 1996 while also being his assistant manager.

Managerial career[edit]


Brown's first coaching role was as assistant to Sam Allardyce at Blackpool.[5] He returned to Bolton Wanderers after his playing career ended and served as assistant manager to Colin Todd. Following Todd's departure in 1999, he took charge of the team as caretaker manager, winning four games out of five, until the appointment of Sam Allardyce. He then served as Allardyce's assistant for six years, before deciding to forge his own career as a manager.

Derby County[edit]

Brown's first full-time senior management position was at Derby County, where he succeeded George Burley in June 2005. His time at Derby County proved to be unsuccessful and he was sacked just seven months into his tenure in January 2006, after a 6–1 league defeat against Coventry City, followed by a 3–1 defeat to Colchester in the FA Cup fourth round. Derby were in 19th place when Brown departed.[6]

Hull City[edit]

Brown was appointed as first-team coach at Hull City on 27 October 2006 under Phil Parkinson, and took over as joint caretaker manager alongside Colin Murphy on 4 December 2006 after Parkinson's sacking, with Hull in 22nd place in the Football League Championship. After taking Hull out of the relegation zone with three wins and a draw in the six matches as caretaker manager, he was appointed as the permanent manager of the club on 4 January 2007.

Championship and promotion[edit]

Brown went on to lead The Tigers to Championship safety and the following season Hull City won promotion to the top level of English football for the first time in the club's 104-year history, by beating Bristol City at Wembley in the Championship play-off final on 24 May 2008. Brown described this as "the best day of my life, without a shadow of a doubt".[7]

Premier League[edit]

Brown was rewarded with a new three-year contract, which he signed on the weekend of Hull City's first ever top-flight match, a 2–1 victory over Fulham on 16 August 2008.[8] On 28 September Brown managed Hull to a 2–1 victory at Arsenal. It was only Arsenal's second-ever defeat at the Emirates Stadium and was described by the Hull press as the greatest victory in the club's history. After a 1–0 victory at bottom of the table Tottenham Hotspur the following weekend, and a 3–0 away victory at the also newly promoted West Bromwich Albion, he was awarded the Manager-of-the-Month award for Hull's performances in September.

The first nine games Hull spent as a top division club resulted in six wins as they occupied third place in the Premier League and were only being kept off the top by Liverpool and Arsenal having superior goal difference.

The remainder of the season was not so easy for Brown, as the team struggled to pick up the remaining points necessary to avoid relegation, and he was involved in several controversial incidents. In November 2008 he was fined £1,000 and warned about his future conduct by the FA after he admitted a charge of improper conduct. The charge related to a game against Wigan in August which Hull lost 5–0.[9] On 26 December 2008, following a poor first half performance that saw Hull 4–0 down in a league match at Manchester City, Brown conducted his half-time team-talk on the pitch, in full view of the crowd and at the end of the pitch where the Hull supporters were sitting.[10] He explained, "I thought it was nice and cold and I thought I would keep the boys alive because they looked as if they were dead. Our 4,000 travelling fans deserved some kind of explanation for the first-half performance and it was difficult for me to do that from the confines of a changing room. We owed them an apology for the first-half performance."[11] Hull lost the match 5–1 and Brown was widely mocked for the incident.[12][13][14]

Brown was again charged with misconduct for his behaviour in an FA Cup tie against Newcastle United in January. During the match Brown and Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear were both sent to the stands after a confrontation in which Brown verbally abused Newcastle's assistant manager Chris Hughton.[15] Brown admitted the charge and was subsequently fined £2,500 and warned as to his future conduct by the Football Association.[16]

On 17 March 2009, Brown claimed that he saw Arsenal midfielder and captain Cesc Fàbregas spit at the feet of his assistant manager Brian Horton following Hull's 2–1 FA Cup defeat and elimination at the Emirates Stadium. Fabregas was cleared of the accusation on 22 May 2009.[17] After the game Brown also falsely claimed that Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger had refused to shake his hand at one of their two previous meetings that season.[18][19][20] Brown faced his third improper conduct charge of the season in relation to comments he made about referee Mike Riley after the Arsenal match. He denied the offence but was found guilty in a June hearing and once again fined £2,500 and warned about his future conduct.[21]

On 24 May 2009, despite suffering a 1–0 loss to a second-string Manchester United side, Brown led Hull City to survival in the Premier League due to Newcastle United losing to Aston Villa.[22] Hull finished in 17th place, one point above Newcastle, who also lost. Brown stated that this was the greatest achievement in his managerial career and the club's history. At the end of the game, Brown went onto the pitch with a microphone and started singing (a modified version of) "Sloop John B" to the crowd.[23]

In the summer of 2009, Brown looked to strengthen his side. He attempted to sign former England international striker Michael Owen and former Tiger Fraizer Campbell, but was unsuccessful. Brown did manage to sign Seyi Olofinjana, Jozy Altidore (on loan from Villarreal), Kamel Ghilas, Stephen Hunt, Paul McShane, and he also signed Ibrahima Sonko on transfer deadline day on loan from Stoke City – after the departure of Michael Turner to Sunderland. Steven Mouyokolo also joined after he was initially purchased on 30 January 2009. Free agent Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink signed for the Tigers on 3 September 2009.

Brown's position as Hull manager was thought to be under threat in November 2009 following a poor start to the season, however a run of eight points from four games dampened such speculation.[24] The team's disciplinary problems also continued, with a £40,000 fine levied following a fracas in a 3–0 defeat at Arsenal and Hull also occupying last place in the Fair Play League.[25] On 15 March 2010 Brown was put on gardening leave at Hull after a run of four defeats left the team in the relegation zone.[26] Hull achieved one win in the last fifteen games under Brown, and a total of five in the 2009–10 league season. His final match was a home defeat to Arsenal.[27] His contract as manager was confirmed ended on 7 June 2010, by which time the Tigers had been relegated under new manager Iain Dowie.[28]

Preston North End[edit]

On 6 January 2011, it was announced that Brown would become the new manager of Preston North End,[29] replacing the sacked Darren Ferguson.[30] In his first season at Preston, he was unable to save the club from relegation. He stated that "I nearly broke down in front of the supporters. I hold myself responsible for relegation, end of story" however "Next season we will hit the ground running – one thing is for sure, we'll be able to run".[31]

Brown oversaw a loss in the first game of the 2011–12 season, a 4–2 loss to Colchester, but after this the club went on a winning streak, with strikers Iain Hume, Neil Mellor and Jamie Proctor in top form. However, all 3 strikers got injured, and the club fell from 2nd in the league to 10th. This led to a club announcement on 14 December 2011, informing the fans that Brown and assistant Brian Horton had left the club with immediate effect, after a run of bad results.

Southend United[edit]

On 25 March 2013, it was announced that Brown would succeed Paul Sturrock as manager of Southend United, 24 hours after Sturrock's dismissal.[32] Having reached the 2013 Football League Trophy Final under Sturrock, Southend lost 2–0 at Wembley on 7 April 2013 under Brown.[33]

In the next two seasons, Brown led Southend United to consecutive play-off competitions, eventually seeing the club promoted to League One in May 2015.[citation needed]

On 17 January 2018, Brown was placed on gardening leave by Southend effectively ending his nearly five-year reign at the club.[citation needed]

Swindon Town[edit]

On 12 March 2018, following his spell at Southend, Brown was appointed the manager of League Two side Swindon Town until the end of the 2017–18 campaign.[34] Although Swindon failed to qualify for the League Two playoffs, Brown signed a new two-year deal in May 2018.[35] Brown was sacked in November 2018, with the club lying 17th in the table.[36]

Pune City[edit]

In December 2018, Brown was appointed as head coach of Indian Super League side Pune City,[37] which soon became Hyderabad FC.


After the dissolution of FC Pune City, Brown along with most of the players continued with the new replacement club, Hyderabad FC.[38] Brown was sacked from Hyderabad FC on 11 January 2020, after just 1 win in 12 matches in the 2019–20 season.[39]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 11 January 2020
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref.
P W D L Win %
Bolton Wanderers (caretaker) 22 September 1999 19 October 1999 6 4 1 1 066.7 [40][41]
Derby County 24 June 2005 30 January 2006 33 7 14 12 021.2 [41]
Hull City 4 December 2006 15 March 2010 157 52 40 65 033.1 [41]
Preston North End 6 January 2011 14 December 2011 51 15 15 21 029.4 [41]
Southend United 25 March 2013 17 January 2018 251 98 65 88 039.0 [41]
Swindon Town 12 March 2018 11 November 2018 32 10 11 11 031.3 [41]
Pune City / Hyderabad FC 24 December 2018 11 January 2020 20 4 5 11 020.0 [42]
Total 532 187 147 198 035.2



Bolton Wanderers


Hull City

Southend United


Personal life[edit]

Brown is a trained electrician, and put his trade to use by carrying out electrical work at Southend's training ground.[46]


  1. ^ a b c "Phil Brown". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Hull boss Phil Brown takes on Great North Run challenge". Daily Mirror. 16 September 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
  3. ^ "Preece tribute to Billy". Manchester Evening News. 20 April 2002. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "You're a disgrace Brown, says Burgess". Blackpool Gazette. 11 February 2008. Archived from the original on 1 November 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  6. ^ "Manager Brown given sack by Derby". BBC News. 30 January 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  7. ^ "Managing the Next Step". City magazine. Hull City AFC (34): 20. June 2008.
  8. ^ "Duffen's pride in Tigers". Hull Daily Mail. 18 August 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  9. ^ Wilson, Steve (19 November 2008). "Hull City manager Phil Brown fined and warned over future conduct by FA". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  10. ^ "Brown makes exhibition of Hull". 27 December 2008. Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  11. ^ Brett, Oliver (26 December 2008). "Man City 5–1 Hull". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  12. ^ White, Jim (6 February 2015). "Manchester City v Hull City flashback: The day Phil Brown turned into David Brent".
  13. ^ "Phil Brown: 'I would have kept Hull in the Premier League for 20". The Independent. 22 January 2014.
  14. ^ Jackson, Jamie (28 November 2009). "Dean Windass says Phil Brown did not 'lose' Hull players with that team talk". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  15. ^ Stewart, Rob (14 January 2009). "Joe Kinnear and Phil Brown see red as Newcastle exit FA Cup". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 26 May 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  16. ^ "FA fines Brown for touchline row". BBC Sport. BBC. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  17. ^ "Football in brief Cesc Fbregas cleared in spitting dispute". The Times. London. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  18. ^ "FA probes Fabregas 'spitting' row". BBC Sport. BBC. 18 March 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  19. ^ Norrish, Mike; Wilson, Steve (18 March 2009). "Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas accused of spitting – Phil Brown has a spat with Arsene Wenger". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 April 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ Wilson, Steve (24 June 2009). "Phil Brown fined over Arsenal referee comments". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  22. ^ "All The News | Football News". Football365. Archived from the original on 22 March 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  23. ^ "Hull boss Brown leads the singing". BBC Sport. BBC. 24 May 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  24. ^ Kempson, Russell (15 March 2010). "Rollercoaster ride at Hull for Phil Brown". The Times. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  25. ^ "Hull City Bottom of Fair Play League". Hull City Online. 19 January 2010. Archived from the original on 22 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  26. ^ "Hull City relieve manager Phil Brown of his duties". BBC Sport. BBC. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  27. ^ "Phil Brown sacked: Borrowed time finally runs out for Hull boss - News". 15 March 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  28. ^ "Club Statement". Hull City Website. Hull City AFC. 7 June 2010. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  29. ^ "Phil Brown appointed Preston North End's new manager". BBC Sport. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
  30. ^ "Darren Ferguson sacked as Preston North End boss". BBC. 29 December 2010.
  31. ^ "We can bounce back says Brown". Lancashire Evening Post. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  32. ^ "Phil Brown to be new Southend United boss". BBC Sport. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  33. ^ Phillips, Chris (7 April 2013). "Crewe Alexandra 2, Southend United 0". Echo. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  34. ^ "PHIL BROWN APPOINTED SWINDON TOWN MANAGER". Swindon Town Official Site. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  35. ^ "BREAKING: Brown Confirmed As New Town Boss". Swindon Town Official Site. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  36. ^ "Swindon sack manager Phil Brown and assistant Neil McDonald". Sky Sports. 11 November 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  37. ^ "Phil Brown: Indian Super League's FC Pune City appoint new head coach". 24 December 2018.
  38. ^ "ISL: Hyderabad ropes in ex-Pune City coach Brown". 29 August 2019.
  39. ^ "ISL 2019-20: Rock Bottom Hyderabad FC Sack Coach Phil Brown With 6 Games to Go". News18. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  40. ^ "Phil Brown". League Managers Association. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  41. ^ a b c d e f "Managers: Phil Brown". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  42. ^
  43. ^ Powell, David (29 May 1989). "Happy days return to Burnden Park" (reprint). The Times. NewsBank. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  44. ^ "Manager profile: Phil Brown". Premier League. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  45. ^ "News | League 2 | League 2 news | Brown named Manager of the Month". The Football League. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  46. ^ "FA Cup: Phil Brown's journey from Hull City to Southend United". BBC Sport. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.

External links[edit]