Brown Jimmy Image 1 Blackburn Rovers 1885

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Brown Jimmy Image 1 Blackburn Rovers 1885

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Born in Blackburn, inside left Jimmy Brown began his football career playing for clubs such as Mintholme College in Preston and then the Blackburn Law Club. He played for Blackburn Rovers from August 1879 and was part of the team that won the FA Cup in three successive seasons between 1884 and 1886 (Brown captaining the side in 1885 and 1886), as well as appearing on the side which lost 1-0 to Old Etonians at The Kennington Oval in 1882. He first won the FA Cup as Blackburn Rovers beat Scottish club Queen’s Park 2-1 at The Kennington Oval in March 1884. He scored goals in both the 1885 and 1886 Cup Finals in wins over Queen’s Park again in 1885 and in a 2-0 replay win over West Bromwich Albion in 1886 after a 0-0 draw in the first match at The Kennington Oval to seal their hat-trick of victories. The replay was particularly noteworthy in that it took place at Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s Racecourse Ground, the first time an FA Cup Final was played outside London.

Brown was capped on five occasions by England. His debut came in a 1-0 defeat against Wales at The East Lancashire Cricket Ground, Blackburn on 26th February 1881. He was 18 years and 210 days old making him still the 10th youngest player for England of all time. He scored his first two goals for England in his next match against Ireland at Knock Ground, Belfast on 18th February 1882. He then played all three matches as England won the 1885 British Championship, his last cap coming in a 1-1 draw against Scotland at The Kennington Oval on 21st March 1885. He scored 3 goals in his 5 appearances for England.

Brown had a break from football from 1886 to 1888 but returned to Rovers to play in the inaugural Football League season of 1888-89. Brown made his Football League debut at outside left at Leamington Road, Blackburn as Rovers took on rivals Aston Villa on 17th November 1888. Rovers were superb and won 5-1. However those Rovers fans who thought that Brown would re-produce his dribbling skills, delicate touch, devastating pace and eye for goal were unduly optimistic. Brown played only 3 more matches after his debut during December, once at centre forward and twice at inside left. Brown then retired from football in 1889.

 

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