‘Eddy’ Brown, a former Preston North End centre forward, died peacefully on Thursday 12th July 2012, at a Preston nursing home. He was aged 86.
Preston-born Eddy started his professional football career with his hometown club, Preston North End, during August 1948. He made his league debut on 20th November 1948, away at Sunderland. Unfortunately North End suffered relegation from the first division during Eddy’s first season, but he had only played seven games, scoring twice.
The following season, in division two, Eddy started off in the reserves, but he was scoring regularly. He was soon promoted to the first 11 after catching the eye in an away game against Manchester United. North End won 5-0 and Eddy scored four of the goals. Despite only playing in 26 games for the first team during the 1949/50 season, Eddy top scored with 13 goals.
North End needed to gain promotion very quickly to keep hold of their top players such as Tom Finney, and the management decided to sign the Southampton striker, Charlie Wayman, despite young Eddy showing plenty of potential. Eddy actually went to Southampton in a cash/player exchange deal for Wayman.
After a couple of seasons with both Southampton and Coventry City, Eddy joined Birmingham City. By now Eddy had developed into a prolific goalscorer, as he had a good turn of pace and a good right foot. His goals helped Birmingham City to the second division championship in 1955. One game he would not forget was when he bagged a hat trick in a 9-1 win over Liverpool. The following year Birmingham reached the FA Cup Final against Manchester City but despite losing, the club were to play in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup. Eddy, who became a firm favourite at St Andrews, scored a couple of goals against Barcelona.
In 1958 he was transferred to Leyton Orient before moving on to Scarborough as player/manager. He had scored 190 goals in 399 league games.
Eddy, who once described himself as eccentric, was a real character, on and off the playing field. If you ever met him, you certainly could not forget him.
Our condolences go out to his family and friends.