Great Yarmouth, Norfolk born inside forward Robert “Sailor” (sometimes “Bert”) Brown played for Great Yarmouth Town and Gorleston in 1933 as a youth, before joining Charlton Athletic in August 1934. His Football League debut came against Birmingham City on 29th January 1938 and his career was soon interrupted by the advent of the Second World War. During the War, he served as a sergeant in the Royal Air Force and was a member of the Greenwich auxiliary police. He played for Newcastle United, West Ham United, Millwall, York City, Leicester City, Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and East Fife as a wartime guest. Brown also featured in six wartime and/or Victory internationals for England in 1945 and 1946, scoring four goals.
Following the War, Brown played for Charlton in the FA Cup Final on 27th April 1946, which they lost 4-1 to Derby County at Wembley. He then joined Nottingham Forest for a fee of £6,750 in May 1946 after 24 goals in 63 appearances for The Valiants. He made 49 appearances, scoring 17 goals for Forest before moving to Aston Villa in October 1947 for a fee of £10,000, then the club’s record highest transfer fee paid. After making 30 appearances and scoring nine goals, he returned to his former Norfolk non league club Gorleston, being appointed their player-manager in August 1948. He left the club in May 1956 retiring from football.