Belfast born winger Jackie Brown was spotted by Belfast Celtic in 1933 playing for his works team whilst serving an as an apprentice in the linen trade. At Celtic he represented the Irish League, scoring in a 6-1 defeat by The Football League in 1934. A prolific goalscorer from the wing, Brown moved to Wolverhampton Wanderers in December 1934, along with club-mate Dave “Boy” Martin, shortly after his 20th birthday, making his debut against Notts County in an FA Cup tie in January 1936 and scoring in a 4-0 win. Within three months Brown had won his first cap for Ireland against England in February 1935, and despite never really settling at Molineux, remained a regular in the Irish line-up until the start of World War Two winning 10 caps for Ireland, scoring once, 2 caps for Eire scoring once and representing The Irish League twice.
A £3,000 move to Coventry City in October 1936 saw Brown play regular first-team football, and also win two caps for the FAI team in May 1937 – against Switzerland and France, in the latter game he scored with an impressive volley in a 2-0 win. Quite a character, he was sold to Birmingham in September 1938 after 29 goals in 73 appearances for the Highfield Road outfit following an “unfortunate incident” in a Coventry ballroom. His direct wing-play couldn’t help the Blues avoid relegation and the Second World War seemed to have ended his League career having scored 8 times in 41 appearances for The Blues, and when football resumed he was playing for non-League Barry Town in 1947.
Surprisingly in May 1948 Division Three (South) side Ipswich Town gave the 33-year-old Brown a final chance in League football. He made his Ipswich debut away to Bristol Rovers on 21st August 1948, and he starred for the Suffolk side for three seasons. Brown made his final League appearance against Bristol City on the 5th May 1951 and retired due to injury that June having played 104 competitive games for Ipswich, scoring 27 goals.