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Craig Brown, former Scotland manager and World Cup qualifier, passes away at 82

Craig Brown passes away

Craig Brown, the manager who last led Scotland to a World Cup Finals, has passed away at the age of 82.

From 1993 to 2001, Brown served as the national team’s manager and successfully guided them to qualification for Euro 96 and the 1998 World Cup in France.

Having been part of the coaching staff for the 1986 and 1990 finals, he also led the team to the FIFA Under-16 World Championship final at Hampden before taking over as coach of the senior team, replacing Andy Roxburgh.

Brown, Scotland’s longest-serving manager, died after a brief illness in University Hospital, Ayr, surrounded by his close family.

Current Scotland boss Steve Clarke paid tribute to his predecessor, saying, “Craig paved the way for sustained qualification to the men’s national team, first as Andy Roxburgh’s assistant and later as the manager. He was a student of the game, and I’m proud to have followed in his footsteps by leading a Scotland team back to a major tournament. Our players and backroom staff extend their thoughts to Craig’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

SFA President Mike Mulraney compared Brown to other legendary Scottish managers such as Jock Stein, Sir Alex Ferguson, Walter Smith, and Jim McLean. He expressed his deepest condolences on behalf of the Scottish FA and Hampden Park to Brown’s family, acknowledging the significant impact he had on Scottish football.

As Scotland’s national team coach, Brown led the team to EURO 96 in England, a tournament he considered crucial for the fans not to miss out on. He also guided them to the 1998 World Cup, where they famously faced Brazil in the opening match, performing the iconic “kilt walk” pre-match.

Beyond his managerial career, Brown achieved success as a player, winning a league title with Dundee in 1962. After a knee injury ended his playing career, he managed Clyde in 1977. He went on to manage Preston North End and Motherwell, earning induction into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame. He concluded his career at Aberdeen in 2013 and served on the Pittodrie board for 13 years.

Dave Cormack, chairman of Aberdeen Football Club, expressed his personal tribute to Brown, describing him as universally loved and a true gentleman who cherished his family, friends, and football. Cormack also appreciated the support and encouragement Brown provided during his tenure as chairman.

Former chairman Stewart Milne, who appointed Brown as Dons manager in 2010, regarded him as a remarkable individual known for his generosity and willingness to assist others. Milne shared a close friendship with Brown, cherishing his humorous storytelling.

Rangers, Brown’s first club, expressed their sadness at the news, while Celtic, where his brother Jock served as General Manager, paid tribute to him on Twitter. Motherwell released a statement describing Brown as an iconic and influential figure in Scottish football, highlighting his remarkable achievements and amiable character both on and off the pitch. They expressed their grief at his loss, which will be felt by everyone.

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