Browne Bobby Image 1 Leeds United 1936

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Description

Londonderry, Ireland born wing half Bobby Browne began his football career with junior clubs Maleven and Clooney Rovers before joining Irish League Derry City where he earned a regular place in the side. Leeds United manager of the 1930’s, Billy Hampson seemed to have predilection for young Irish talent, and one of the first he brought to Elland Road was Derry man Bobby Browne. Browne had been groomed for greatness by Derry City manager, Billy Gillespie and it was while representing the Irish League against the Football League when the Irish made history by beating the English 2-1 in front of 28,000 at Bloomfield Road, that he gained the attention of English scouts. It took a £1,500 fee to prise the talented wing half from Foyleside in October 1935, and he went straight into the first team to make his Football League debut against Aston Villa the same month.

Browne, who had grown up more familiar with the Gaelic code, had been a member of the Derry City side that claimed their first major honour when they won the 1934-35 City Cup. He was never assured of his place at Leeds United, in his best season he made over 30 appearances in 1937-38, but was capped six times by Ireland during his stay at Elland Road, the first just weeks after arriving in Yorkshire when he made his debut in a defeat to England at Windsor Park, Belfast in October 1935, winning his final cap alongside Leeds United team mates Jim Twomey and Davie Cochrane in a defeat to England at Old Trafford in November 1938.

Having made just short of 100 appearances for Leeds, his career was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. Browne continued to make wartime league appearances for Leeds when available, and also guested for Aldershot, Tottenham Hotspur, Luton Town, Derry City, Watford and Colchester United while stationed as a PT instructor at Colchester Garrison.

When the Football League resumed in 1946 Browne was 34 year old, and he played one more season with Leeds, adding 19 appearances to total 114 appearances for The Peacocks both sides of the War, before finishing his career first with York City who he joined in August 1947, where he made 5 appearances, and then with non league Thorne Colliery where he was player-manager. Later Bobby Browne joined the coaching staff at Halifax Town, and was briefly caretaker manager in October and November 1954, taking over from former Leeds team mate Gerry Henry.

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