EVERYONE at Rangers FC is in mourning today after learning that club legend and former Scotland goalkeeper and manager Bobby Brown has sadly passed away at the age of 96.
Mr Brown, from Dunipace, joined Bill Struth’s Light Blues from Queen’s Park in 1946 and in his decade long spell at Ibrox he made 296 appearances, keeping 109 clean sheets.
For six years – between 10 August 1946 and 16 April 1952 – he never missed a league game, playing in an astonishing run of 179 matches. Prior to that, in January 1946, he was handed the first of his five Scotland caps, making his debut in a 2-2 draw against Belgium at Hampden Park.
Tall, blond and agile, Mr Brown was the last line in a famous Rangers defence which became known as the Iron Curtain and also featured George Young, Jock Shaw, Ian McColl, Willie Woodburn and Sammy Cox.
He played as a part-timer throughout his Gers career, combining football with life as a schoolmaster. He also had what was then the unusual habit of making sure he turned out with a new pair of white laces in his boots for every game he played in.
After succeeding Jerry Dawson between the posts, one of Rangers’ finest goalkeepers who had been at the club since 1929, Mr Brown was to win three League Championships (1946/47, 1948/49 and 1949/50), three Scottish Cups (1948, 1949 and 1950) and two League Cups (1946/47 and 1948/49). Indeed, he was an ever-present during the historic 1948/49 season when Rangers became the first team to win the treble.
In May 1956, Mr Brown was transferred to Falkirk for £2,200 but within a year he had retired from playing and later became manager of St Johnstone, guiding them into the top division.
In February 1967 he was appointed manager of Scotland, a position he held until July 1971. Although the national team failed to qualify for the 1970 World Cup, Mr Brown had the satisfaction of a famous 3-2 victory over reigning world champions England in a European Championship qualifier at Wembley.
He was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2015 having previously been inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame in 2002.
Mr Brown, who lived in Helensburgh, was a regular guest at Rangers games in recent years and everyone at the club sends their condolences to his family at this difficult time.
Rangers Chairman Dave King said: “All of us connected with Rangers are deeply saddened to hear that Mr Brown, a genuine Rangers and Scotland legend, has passed away. Our thoughts are with Mr. Brown’s family at this time.
“He was a wonderful servant of our club and we will remember him with great fondness. He was a gentleman of the game and set standards which typify what Rangers is about.”
A minute’s silence in memory of Mr Brown will be held prior to Friday’s Scottish Cup tie with Stranraer at Ibrox.