TRIBUTES have been paid to the wife of a former Burnley manager who became a stalwart in two very different communities.

Connie Brown, wife of ex-Claret boss Joe Brown, has died aged 84. She was well known in footballing circles and later in life for her faith work.

With ex-Claret Joe she was one half of the game’s most-respected couples. Joe went on to become chief scout and youth development officer for Manchester United and the Browns both got honourable mentions in the autobiography of their most famous Red Devils protege, David Beckham.

But in later life Connie and Joe became well known in Burnley for their faith work, initially as members of Queensgate Pentecostal Church, now renamed the Life Church, where she served as a visitor to the elderly.

And in her final years Connie was a much-loved member of the congregation at Rosehill Baptist Church, not only attending Sunday services but becoming a fixture with the Thursday lunch club.

The Rev Leroy Bowtell, of Rosehill Baptists, said: “The last memory people at the lunch club have of Connie is singing carols at the Christmas meal, full of joy.”

She suffered a fall a short time later and died at the Healey Lodge nursing home, in Burnley, surrounded by family.

Connie leaves her husband Joe, who is also in poor health, and son Martin. Her other son, Nigel, died around nine years ago. Her funeral will be at the Rosehill church at 1.30pm tomorrow.

Joe played a handful of games for the Clarets in the early 50s, but injury cut short his hopes at Turf Moor. He rejoined the club as a coach in 1961, later making it to the post of assistant manager.

He became the boss in January, 1976, after the departure of Jimmy Adamson, but only lasted 13 months.

Later he became Manchester United’s main talent spotter and nurtured the careers of the likes of Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.