Beith, Ayrshire born centre forward Alex “Sandy” Brown was a prolific scorer in Scottish youth football, and earnt his nickname as the “Glenbuck Goalgetter” as a 15 year old playing for Glenbuck Athletic. He played for Kilsyth Wanderers in 1894 before turning professional with St Bernard’s in 1895, he was soon induced across the border to English football with Preston North End, making his Football League debut at Bury in September 1896 and scoring a hat-trick against Burnley in his fourth game in a 5-3 win at Deepdale. His 11 goals in 1897-98 saw him top Preston’s goalscoring charts.
After three years having scored 29 goals in 67 appearances, he moved to Southern League Portsmouth in 1899, where he scored 23 goals in 31 appearances, and he then joined Tottenham Hotspur in May 1900. During the 1900-01 season, Brown scored 15 goals during Tottenham’s FA Cup run, including a goal in every round, which resulted in the club becoming the only non-League team to win the Cup as they beat Sheffield United in the Final. Brown scored both of Tottenham’s goals in the first Final against Sheffield United, a 2-2 draw at The Crystal Palace; in the replayed match at Burnden Park, Brown scored the 87th minute sealer as Spurs beat The Blades 3-1 to win the Cup. In total, during his brief spell at Tottenham, Brown scored 45 goals in just 57 games.
Brown returned to Portsmouth in May 1902 where he scored a further 20 goals in 27 appearances and had two seasons at Middlesbrough signing for them in May 1903, scoring 20 goals in 49 appearances for ‘Boro before he joined Southern League Luton Town in 1905. After 33 goals in 69 League games, Brown left for non league Kettering Town in 1907 before returning to Scotland with first Nithsdale Wanderers in 1908, then Ayr United in 1909.
Brown won one cap for Scotland while at Middlesbrough, in a 1-0 defeat by England at Celtic Park that April during the 1904 British Home Championship.
NB the photograph shows Brown’s winning goal in the 1901 FA Cup Final.