Gainsborough, Lincolnshire born centre forward Arthur Brown joined hometown professional Second Division club Gainsborough Trinity in 1901 from Gainsborough Church Lads Brigade, making his Football League debut against Middlesbrough in April 1902. After scoring twice in three League matches, he joined Sheffield United in the close season of 1902 for a £350 transfer fee, and returned with 109 goals in 187 appearances over the next six seasons.
He was awarded his first England cap in February 1904 in a 2-2 draw against Wales at The Racecourse Ground, his second cap coming two years later when he scored in a 5-0 win over Ireland in Belfast.
His 22 goal haul, including a hat-trick in a win over Stoke on Boxing Day 1904, in The Blades’ 1904-05 campaign left him the top goalscorer in the First Division and the following season he scored trebles against Bolton Wanderers and in a cup tie win over Manchester City. He equalled his career best goalscoring season in 1906-07 as United finished fourth in the League Championship, his total including a hat-trick against Everton in March 1907, once again seeing him finish as The Blades top goalscorer, as he was in 1907-08, when he scored 4 goals in a 5-3 win over Sunderland in October 1907.
Perhaps with that feat fresh in the memory, he was signed Sunderland in June 1908 for £1,000, making another 55 appearances, scoring 23 times, 20 of those coming in 1908-09 as Sunderland finished third in the League title race. Brown refused to move to Wearside because of his wife’s ill health, remaining in Gainsborough, so he was suspended and eventually allowed to move south to Fulham in October 1910, scoring 12 goals in 46 appearances, returning north in May 1912 when he joined Middlesbrough for £400, making just four League appearances that autumn before his retirement.
NB although published in 1910 while with Fulham, the photograph appears to show Brown in a Sheffield United shirt (Sunderland shirts didn’t have collars) so is probably c.1907.