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Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown

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Bornroon, Ayrshire, November 1 1947
Internationals30 caps between 1969 and 1976
InductedEngland v Scotland (March 19, 2005)

It was a gross injustice that Gordon Brown was not around to celebrate his induction on to the Twickenham Wall of Fame, as there can be few more worthy candidates for the signal honour. Sadly Broon frae Troon died in 2000, but he would have enjoyed replaying his memories of playing at Twickenham.

He certainly has reason to remember his first visit to ‘Billy Williams’ cabbage patch’. That was back in 1971, when Scotland descended on a ground where they had not won a match since Wilson Shaw’s 1938 team had picked off the auld enemy.

The Brown family had come down in force, too. In addition to Gordon, there was older brother Peter, while father Jock was the Scotland physio.
Brown was in the second row pitted against Nigel Horton, no mean opponent and someone who was unafraid of the odd bit of activity off the ball. That was another reason why Brown was to remember the game with such clarity.

There was an inevitable confrontation early on and Brown described the incident in his autobiography, ‘Broon from Troon’. “Inevitably, Big Nigel and I had a set-to and for a change it was he who needed the restorative properties of the magic sponge. The trouble was that the English sponge was already being used on John Pullin.”

The solution to the mini-dilemma was for Brown’s father Jock to come on the field and mop up the damage that his son had inflicted on the burly England lock. Brown added: “Big Nigel was not amused.”

When brother Peter Brown, who had scored one of Scotland’s three tries, then converted Chris Rea’s last-minute touchdown to secure victory for Scotland, Horton was even less amused. He refused to shake hands with Gordon Brown and said, “I’ll see you next week.”

That was a reference to the Centenary international between England and Scotland at Murrayfield the following Saturday. But Horton was dropped for that match, which was won in convincing style by the same Scotland team that had triumphed at Twickenham.

Article by Dai Llewellyn


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